Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Typhus Ideas.

With the favoured disciples of the other three Chaos Gods dealt with (here, here and here) its finally time to move onto the most popular of all the characters in the new dex: Typhus. Why is he the most popular?

One reason. Well, there are a few but one reason stands out moreso than any other.

He gives you access to Zombies. Hordes of the mindless dead. 40k Grimdark Zombies. Resident Evil with Space Marines. The Walking Dead. 

I could go on and on making cultural references but I'll stop before I get completely sidetracked. What I will do is commend myself on the timing of this by having this blog post coincide with Hallowe'en.

I'll get back to the Zombies in a while after I deal with Typhus first, seeing as he is a prerequisite in order to have the Zombies wandering about in the first place. Stat-wise he's a Chaos Lord with the Mark of Nurgle and a crap Warlord Trait (you'll be forgiven if you never remember to use it) but its in his extra rules that he begins to shine when compared to his HQ counterparts.

Typhus: leaving his mark on the ladies since M.31.
He comes with Feel No Pain, Blight Grenades and Terminator Armour which are all alright but its the extras that make him: +1 Wound; Manreaper, his +2 S Ap 2 Unwieldy Force (& Daemon) Weapon; The Destroyer Hive which allows him once per game to trade his attacks for a Prince Yriel-esque Large Blast attack at S4 and Ap 2; Psyker Level 2, so he's usually got a 4+ Deny the Witch roll, with 2 Nurgle powers (which sadly aren't great) and finally he is the daddy of Plague Zombies, allowing you to turn any number of Cultist units into the shambling hordes. For free. Bear in mind that thanks to the recent Chaos Marine FAQ they're not restricted to 10-man units.

For 230 points he's a solid buy. Whether he's as good an all-rounder as Huron Blackheart, I'm not sure but he's better than the majority of the other HQ options available and he can be run as a solitary character freeing up points for the rest of the army. Crucially, he also makes Plague Marines Troops so you can run an entirely Fearless army that is tough as nails and doesn't require babysitters to keep units safe or help them destroy stuff. It might require some help in taking down Flyers but if you cover the board with enough guys you might not have to.

There are a ton of list options open to you when Typhus shows up to give everyone the flu. One that I did look at early on was the Epidemius combo but I don't think that it'll work properly at 1850 pts because once you start adding marks to the units you run out of points quickly. Allied to this is the fact that while Nurgle units benefit massively from the Tallyman's table they tend to do more standing up to punishment than inflicting it.

Typhus embodies this: with his T5 and Feel No Pain he's more than capable of standing up to Power Fist-armed models, barring S10 ones, with his two 5+ saves which if my maths are right is just slightly better than a 4+ save. He's also got Blight Grenades so when charged the enemy does not get their charge attacks: most Sergeant models will have 2 attacks, hit once, do a wound and then Typhus has his two 5+ attempts to save it. He's really hard to bring down considering he's got 4 wounds and when he has disposed of the challenger he gets to roll on the Boons table. If you're really worried you can always bring a Dark Apostle to stop him turning into a useless-ass Daemon Prince or more useless Spawn.

He can tank his way through most combats thanks to his 2+ save, 2+ Lo,S and 5+ FNP so he's not afraid of  getting stuck in even if he is I1 thanks to Manreaper being Unwieldy. At least he's got a minimum of 5 WS 1 attacks on the charge (that assumes that you've rolled a 1 on the Daemon Weapon roll which you get two 5+ saves from) so he's still statistically very likely to tear a single-wound challenger apart if worst comes to worst: he can probably take most 2 wound Marine characters apart (barring 3+ invul saves) thanks to VotLW re-rolls at WS 1 and with an average number of 7 attacks on the charge he'll be able to force lots of saves. Then when one is failed, you get to trigger your Force Weapon ability. Tidy.

There is the little combo of having a Sorcerer casting Endurance on a unit with the Mark to grant them Feel No Pain and when the Tally is turned up to full they'll get 3+ FNP in addition to ignoring Armour saves both at range and in combat but it forces you to use up another HQ slot and reduces the amount of Nurgle guys in the army that benefit from the Tally. Perversely, you won't want to give the Sorcerer a Mark so that he'll have a greater chance of getting Endurance compared to a marked one.

I'll throw one in just to show how the Typhus/Epidemius tag-team can be done but it is hard to build an effective one below 2000 points.

The Pandmemic 
Funky watercolour stolen from here.
230 pts

3 x 7 Plague Marines
2 Plasma Guns, Meltabomb
3 x 198 = 609 pts

7 Plague Marines
2 Meltaguns
188 pts

28 Zombies
122 pts

27 Zombies
118 pts

115 pts

7 Plague Bearers
105 pts

10 Nurgling Bases
130 pts

2 x 5 Havocs
4 Autocannons
2 x 115 = 230 pts

So the list is almost entirely Nurgle and it sacrifices flavour in order to get the Havocs in there to help you deal with vehicles at range but if you want to keep it all in the family you can always swap out the Havocs for  a unit of Oblits with the Mark but you might want to drop a Nurgling base to get Veterans of the Long War on them to give them Ld 9.

The rest of the list is built around a core of tough-as-balls units of Plague Marines with Melta weapons for tackling Land Raiders and Plasma for Ap2 wounds to help you deal with Terminators etc. The Plaguebearers team up with Epidemius and hide at the back while the Nurglings and Zombies get in the way. The Nurglings in particular are really tough and doubly so when they get to ignore armour saves when the Tally is full. They're also really hard to get rid of considering they've got 3 wounds each and Eternal Warrior. The Plague Marines advance behind them and try to rack up the kills to get the ball rolling so that Typhus can get his 3+ FNP rolls on. Your opponent will also have to deal with 28 Plague Marines before the same buff kicks in.

The main thing is the lack of Flyer-killing units and long-ranged high Strength stuff but they can be squeezed in if you sacrifice a unit of Troops which you will be loath to do seeing as they benefit the most from the Tally  but they are really durable already without it. Whether it will manage to rack up the kills quickly enough is another matter.

If you want, you can always drop out the Daemon element and go for more reliability by having lots of Plague Marine units backed up by heavy firepower and you don't have to worry about catering to the whims of Nurgle-Jabba on his throne in order to build the rest of your list.

230 pts

3 x 7 Plague Marines with 2 Plasma guns
3 x 198 = 594 pts

3 x 7 Bikers with 2 Melta guns, Mark of Nurgle, VotLW
3 x 219 = 657 pts

That right there is 1481 pts. I would probably advise you to drop a unit of bikers to get another unit of Plague Marines, or even reduce the squad sizes of the Bikers, or both in order to shovel in some Havocs as long-ranged support so you don't have to get up close in order to do all of your killing but there is a lot of freedom when it comes to building a list with Typhus in it.

Crop Dusters
There's always the option to go for air cover helping you to kill infantry hiding in them cornfields, removing threats while your zombie plebs advance unrelentingly up the board.

230 pts

2 x 30 Zombies
300 pts

7 Plague Marines with 2 Plasma guns
198 pts
Rhino with Dozer Blade
40 pts

7 Plague Marines with 2 Plasma guns
198 pts
Rhino with Dozer Blade
40 pts

7 Bikers with 2 Meltaguns, Mark of Nurgle, VotLW
226 pts

2 x Helldrakes with Baleflamers
340 pts

2 x 6 Havocs with 4 Autocannons, VotLW
266 pts

Again you've got the big horde of cheap scoring units with 2 units of Plague Marines to do the Ap 2 killing and Bikers and Havocs on anti-tank duty. The Helldrakes can be used to clean out the enemy's scoring units after they've been de-meched or even if they're cowering in cover. This list is light on troops but since it focuses on killing the enemy's ones it should have enough to carry itself through most games, especially with 2/3 of the army having Feel No Pain.

There's also the option to run nothing but Zombies as troops and free up points for lots of other funky units.

Remember this asshat chasing you around in RE 3?
230 pts

3 x Helbrutes with Multi-Melta
3 x 100 pts = 300 pts

4 x 28 Zombies
4 x 122 = 488 pts

25 Zombies
110 pts

2 x Heldrakes
2 x 170 = 340 pts

3 x Maulerfiends
3 x 125 = 375 pts

This is based on the age-old horror story of being chased by a big boogey-man (I'm not sure if the remixing artist or the guy in the film are more strange) throwing all sorts of shapes and here, just like in Resident Evil 3, its the small guys corralling enemy plebs into a place they want them to be for the big guys to get their hands on them. I saw a list like this before but can't remember where so figured I'd throw it out there and expand upon it.

The Maulerfiends are able to sprint without paying heed to terrain and get stuck in quickly and their 5+ Daemon saves with It will not die should keep one or two of them alive long enough to allow them to hit home. They are backed up by the Helbrutes who have to plod along more slowly but they get to wail on vehicles with their Meltas and bail the Zombies out of trouble if they hit a unit that they'll be unable to deal with. The Heldrakes are able to flush out Melta-toting squads and those that are being sacrificed to cockblock your own guys and weaken units before they're charged as well as scratch a few Hull Points off of enemy Flyers, while forcing them to move at awkward angles due to the sheer amount of space taken up by the little guys and the bases of the big guys.

You can afford to bog stuff down with the Zombies and let Typhus and the other big guys get stuck in and clean house, and because the Zombies are both Fearless and have FNP they should be able to withstand a battering and come out the other side intact and be able to claim objectives.

But vehicles are fragile, I hear you say? Well, yes they are more fragile than they were in 5th but when you've  got 6 of them with AV 12, 3 Hull Points and 5+ saves (using Zombies, Terrain or using the Daemon rule) they can be quite resilient as you force your opponent to divide his fire between destroying the killy stuff or taking out your Troops, of which there are actually a lot to get through.

There's a few ideas about building a list around Typhus. Of the 4 God-specific special characters in the new CSM book I reckon that he's the best of them not only because he's a beatstick but also because he gives you far more versatility in how you build your lists than any of the others do. That choice epitomises the new Chaos dex seeing as you have a raft of options open to you in how you get to build your army to suit your gaming style. Thankfully you don't have to sacrifice the army's performance in order to suit the fluff so you get the best of both worlds, which is how it should always be.

As usual, if you've any thoughts to add then feel free to post them up below.

Happy Hallowe'en.


  1. Might be worth noting that Heldrakes are Fast Merv, not Heavy.

    1. You mean in the second Pandemic list with the 3 units of Bikers, yes? I think that is the only one where I've made that mistake.

      I've been running Wolves the last few games and making plenty of mistakes in those too: Logan and the Wolf Priest don't give their funky rules to non-Wolf units...

    2. Logan's High King rule applies to any Battle Brother units he is joined to with the exception of Relentless. Likewise a Wolf Priests PE and Fearless abilities also confer (although PE limited to a single unit type)to any battle brother units.

    3. Sadly its not like that any more thanks to the latest FAQ. This comes from pages 2 and 3 respectively:

      Page 35 – Wolf Priest, Oath of War
      Change the last sentence to: “He and any squad from Codex:
      Space Wolves that he joins have the Preferred Enemy rule
      against that unit type.”

      Page 56 – Logan Grimnar, The High King.
      Change the last sentence to read: “Logan and any unit from Codex: Space Wolves that he has joined have that rule for the duration of the player turn.”

      So there's no Logan/Wolf Priest buffing non-Wolf units anymore. :(

    4. Ah nice catch. Now the only question is does that FAQ override the BRB when the "I have it whole unit has it" abilities? The wording doesn't seem tight enough to deny the BRB. Still if the common wisdom is that it doesn't then I will agree to play by that understanding not that I am using Wolves this time!

  2. By the time Moo8 is done you'll be used to the game again. I think Logan is still an awesome choice.

    1. That's the hope right there. It'll be irritating that I might finally get the hang of it in time for Warpcon but not be allowed to play at it, cos I'll have to work. At least I'll be making money rather than spending it. :D Until I get to the pub...

      Logan isn't as good as he was before the updated FAQ as he doesn't buff non-Wolf units, which you will want to have in your list to offset Logan's high price tag.

    2. Yeah I suppose; Double Divy Priest list then?


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