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Nurgle’s Rotters strange starting skills enable them to be built into an excellent defensive team. Fragile for a primarily bashing team, they often use their skills to force mistakes from their opposition, using these to strengthen their position. The Beast of Nurgle is arguably the best Big Guy in the game, easily capable of occupying multiple opposition players.
Between Beasts of Nurgle and Nurgle Warriors themselves, a Nurgle team is capable of fielding an exceptionally strong, tough and resilient front line. The Beast of Nurgle is an excellent player, able to use his Tentacles to control several lower strength opposition players at a time, along with the usual big guy ability at bashing. With their Horns, Pestigors also make excellent Blitzers. Access to Physical traits is a big bonus, and these can be used to enhance their strengths, or to help make up for weaknesses.
For what is generally considered a bashy team, the majority of Nurgles players are quite fragile. With only AV8 and no General Skills like block on a rookie it’s not uncommon to see Pestigors and Rotters in the CAS or KO boxes. The other obvious weakness is ball handling capability. With expensive rerolls, no ball handling skills and low Ma, Rotters coaches will often end up frustrated as their inability to handle the ball prevents them from taking advantage of the opportunities they create.
Rotter offense tends to be quite similar to their Chaos counterparts, with a couple of differences. Rotters are not as mobile as their Chaos Warrior counterparts, and so tend to always be more useful on the line. A Beast is often best used by singling a couple of players most likely to interfere with your drive that he can reach, and go off to grab them with his tentacles. This will make your drive much easier, and high mobility players are a particularly good target for this sort of play. With your Nurgle Warriors and Beast hopefully occupying more than their share of the opposition, you Pestigors and Rotters should be able to use their strength in numbers to cage and pocket their way down the field.
Maximise the special abilities of your players. Against agility teams, it’s generally a good idea to hold a couple of Nurgle Warriors (or other Disturbing Presencve players if you have developed them via Mutations) further back in your half, so that your Disturbing Presence coverage is wider. Players will often avoid your Beast, so you generally want him to try and make contact with as many players as possible as soon as possible. This prospect makes Blitzes a particularly sought after kickoff result for Rotters, as they can often wade into a slew of opposition players bunched together. Combine this with using your Pestigors to try and blitz and recover the ball at every opportunity. Don’t be afraid to take a high risk blitz opportunity at the end of your turn if it won’t leave you tremendously vulnerable, as the potential rewards are increased by the presence of your interfering skills, meaning your opponent will often have to get through these skills once more.
Against slower teams, the general idea is to use your Nurgle Warriors and Beast to tie up the opposition in a blocking contest, while your Pestigors attempt to blitz through into the backfield. Try and make sure as few Pestigors get caught up in the blocking contest as possible, as they simply won’t hold up very well compared to more typically "bashy" Dwarf or Orc linemen, etc. Cage breaking is generally achieved by preventing parts of the cage from moving, and using pushback combinations to expose the ball carrier to a blitz. Once the ball is out of the cage, it’s often a good move to try and throw it some distance away, as you’ll often have more free mobility than your opponent.*
(* A good trick is often to Pass the ball to your Beast if you can get to it and there are no suitable alternatives available, as at worst it will fall into its TZ, and with luck Tentacles will prevent the opposition from retrieving it quickly.)
There are so many inviting, strong skills the Rotter part of the roster can take - Block on everyone, juicy Mutations, Tackle to go with Foul Appearance against finesse teams - that Guard can go on the back burner. Don't let this happen! Without Guard, your team can get trashed quickly. Due to their value and threatening capabilities being so low, Rotters can also take Dirty Player to clear the pitch.
Link to Nurgle Starting Lineups