Wednesday, September 13, 2017

5 The Good, The Bad & The Panda: Codex Chaos Space Marines Review #8 Heavy Support

Crawling out of a pitch black abysses from the diabolically Forgeworlds of Chaos, mythological beast of long ago emerge.  Creaking, moaning and screaming the lurk across the alien worlds as they pursue to feed the daemons trapped inside of them.  These Daemonic monstrosities rage against the machine that they are trapped inside of and lash out against the enemies of Chaos.

Chaos has a wide variety of units from which they can kill their enemies with when it comes to their Heavy Support choices.  This post is going to focus in on the Daemon Engine variety which are without a doubt the most ascetically interesting units at their disposal.  Lets have a look at these larger then life Frankenstien creatures.

Overview: A god dam DRAGON in the 41st millennium is what we have here.  Who would of ever thought that the forces of Chaos would resurrect one of the most fearsome mythological creatures?  The come in units of 1 but thy pack one hell of a punch.  They are suited for alpha/beta strikes and distracting your foe by causing havoc in the rear lines.

Good: Speed is what makes this flying Daemonic Engine dangerous.  It can move up to 30" (if it has 7-12 wounds) then advance for another 6" for a total of 36".  Let it breath fire by giving it a "Baleflamer" and it has a reach of 54" thanks to the 18" range.  Speaking of the "Baleflamer" we are talking about a strength 6, AP -2, Dmg 2 weapon.  With it being and assault based weapon that auto hits the penalty for advancing and shooting is a mute point.  Its' "Daemonic" ability gives it a 5++ invulnerable save to go with its 3+ armour save.  It has 12 wounds and can regenerate 1 wound on its own thanks to its' "Infernal Regeneration" ability.  This adds up to a model that is quite resilient.

Bad: A degrading profile is the biggest downside to this flying robot chicken.  After suffering your 6th wound your movement is dropped by 10" and you lose 1 to both your WS and attack profile.  This happens again when it has 3 or less wounds.  Its' BS 4 makes its "Hades Autocannon" an unattractive option.  

Panda: To me there is only one weapon load out when it comes to the Heldrake and that is the "Baleflamer".  It bypasses its poor BS and lets you advance and breath fire without having to worry about the -1 modifier thanks to it auto hitting.  It does have strength 7 claws that do AP -1 and Dmg D3 along with a bonus to hitting other units in close combat but it can quickly get bogged down.  Once it starts taking wounds on it begins to lose its mobility.  Thankfully, with its Fl keyword it can  fallback from close combat and still shoot.  Even though it has a high toughness, great saves and the ability to regenerate wounds it will attract a lot and I do mean a lot of attention from your enemy.  Who can blame them though for we are talking about a god dam DRAGON.  This is a good thing as it will buy the rest of your army time to close in on the enemy.  If it survives all the better as you can continue to rain fire down upon them.

Overview: A muti legged walking monstrosity that can contribute both in the shooting phase and the close combat phase.  You only get one per unit and they are suited for Close Combat support and providing protection to your firebase while still contributing down range.

Good: A 5++ invulnerable save is provided from its' "Daemonic" ability and to help keep it going it can heal 1 wound each turn with its' "Infernal Regeneration" ability.  14 wounds is quite a bit and helps keep this monstrosity going.  It has a strength of 7 which is fantastic especially when combined with its' "Defiler Claws" which doubles it strength all the way up to strength 14.  Throw in an AP -3 with Dmg D6 and it can do a ton of damage especially against vehicles, monstrous creatures and characters.  The "Defiler Scourge" bumps its 3 extra attacks to strength 10 and does AP -2 and Dmg 3 which is still outstanding.

Bad: It comes stock with a "Battle Cannon", "Reaper Autocannon" and a "Twin Heavy Flamer" along with a set of "Defiler Claws".  The Battle Cannon is a must while the "Reaper Autocannon" can be substituted out for other shooting based weapons.  However, it only has BS 4 which makes shooting not an attractive option.  With the all of its shooting weapon options being heavy weapons the Defiler is punished if it moves and shooting; -1 BS moving it to BS5 essentially.  This gets even worse as it has a degrading profile that sees its BS affected.  Eventually it will not even be able to hit with its shooting weapons.  The "Twin Heavy Flamer" can get around this with its auto hit ability but puts you into a jam as its pricey and you can swap it out for a "Deflier Scourge" to get 3 more attacks for 1/3 of the points. Sadly though the Defiler is only WS 4 which just adds to its confused state of being.

Panda: This is one hell of a confused unit has it has plenty of shooting options yet it most effective in close combat thanks to strength and "Defiler Claw" profile.  GW did drop the points cost significantly but I don't think it was enough.  I love the concept of the Defiler and if I was to field one I would kit it out so it had its mandatory "Battlecanon"/"Defiler Claws" then drop its "Twin Heavy Flamer" for the "Defiler Scourge" and leave its "Reaper Autocannon" on.  This would end up costing you 179pts. If you could strip off its "Reaper Autocannon" and "Heavy Flamer" weapons for a 3rd/4th "Defiler Claw" that would grant you +1 Attack for each extra claw you would have an excellent close combat Daemon Engine.  The other way to improve it would be to allow you to swap out the "Reaper Autocannon" for a "Defiler Scourge" or a "Twin-Heavy Flamer".  This would give you some nice options while still being effective.  As for the "Battlecannon" its more of a bonus weapon now due to the ghosting of templates in 8th edition. The template rule of past editions resulted in it scattering a bit further due to its poor BS but it still was effective as it would likely still hit something.  In 8th edition this is no longer the case and results in the "Battlecannon" being dramatically less effective.  You can spend 1 command point to let it ignore the penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons but I don't think there are better options out there to spend your command points on.   Having a Sorcerer hit it with "Prescience" will improve its shooting ability especially if you stay static with it.  Keeping it static in the backfield as part of a firebase would provide close combat protection to Havoc Squads, Predators and Rifle Helbrutes.  The Predators and Helbrutes would having an easy time generating cover thanks to its size as long as they could get a foot into cover as well.

Overview: If having a freaking DRAGON wasn't enough for you, you can also field a robotic dino; WTF!!!  Maulerfields are an army of 1 in terms of unit size and suited for close combat only.

Good: A 5++ invulnerable save is provided from its' "Daemonic" ability and to help keep it going it can heal 1 wound each turn with its' "Infernal Regeneration" ability.  It has a great starting movement of 10" which will help it not only cross the battlefield quickly but be able to keep up with a mechanized army.  The "Maulerfiend Fists" have a juicy stat line with a strength of x2, AP -3 and Dmg 3.  The "Lasher Tendril" bump its attack up by giving it 6 extra attacks that do AP -2 and Dmg 2. 

Bad: Like the other Daemon Engines on this page the Maulerfiend also suffer from a degrading profiler.  Their movement, strength and attacks are all effected.  The hit to its' strength hurts twice as much as the other stats as its "Maulerfiend Fists" double its strength.  So each time its strength drops by 1 its actually by 2 in reality. It's starting strength is fairly low at a value of 6 which hurts its "Lasher Tendrils" as they are derived straight from the "users" strength.  

Panda: The price of the Maulerfiend is competitive at a mere 152 points with the "Lasher Tendrils" on it.  This is cheaper then a close combat Helbrute and one of the reason I prefer my Helbrutes to be kitted out for shooting.  I actually like this unit and will be buying one of them.  They are one of the few units that should be targeted with the psychic power "Diabolic Strength" which gives them +1 attack and more importantly +2 strength.  That +2 strength gets multiplied by the "Maulerfiend Fists" by 2 for a net gain of 4.  The extra attack doesn't hurt either.  Its' Daemon keyword lets it benefit from having a Chaos Daemon characters near them such as a Herald of Khorne on a Juggernaut; +1 to its' strength.

Overview: If you prefer to have your robot dinos to be able to shoot then look at fielding a Forgefiend. They come in units of 1 and are suited for mid to long range fire support.

Good: A 5++ invulnerable save is provided from its' "Daemonic" ability and to help keep it going it can heal 1 wound each turn with its' "Infernal Regeneration" ability. The "Hades Autocannon" is a tremendous option as it has a range of 36" with strength 8, AP -1 and Dmg 2 while being a Heavy 4 weapon.  It has the option to take up to two"Hades Autocannons" for the win.

BadThe "Ectoplamsa Cannon" has a nice AP -3 but suffers with a range of 24", a Heavy D3 profile and a Dmg D3 which are both unreliable.  The "Ectoplasma Cannons" range places it into a vicarious spot as it will be highly vulnerable to getting assaulted.  They also cost an extra points more than the "Hades Autocannon".  They BS 4 is not that hot and is effected from the Forgefiend's degrading profile.  

Panda: Taking 2 "Hades Autocannons" and 1 "Ectoplasma Cannon" will allow the Forgefiend to throw out atleast 9 to 11 shots and is really the only option in the PANDA books.  The sheer amount of shots helps it over come its' lacklustre BS 4. However, you are looking at 193pts and when compared to a Helbrute or a Decimator the Forgefiend losses in my HOT opinion.   If you like the ascetics of the model and want to field one think about having a Sorcerer hit it with "Prescience" to improve the BS by +1 and or pop the stratagem "Daemon Forge" to let you re-roll both failed hit and wound rolls.

"He ain't heavy, he's my Daemon Engine"  There are a few good units that you can pick from that are not only Heavy Support but are also Daemon Engines.  The big bonus to them being Daemon Engines is that they can benefit from both CSM and Daemon characters (of the same mark).  This creates synergy that non Daemon units cannot generate which opens new doors for you to manipulate the genes of Chaos.  The beauty at the moment is that CSM units can be placed into Daemon detachments to create a Chaos Soup since they don't have a codex yet; there is nothing to lose or gain by doing so.  These Daemon Engines themselves don't benefit from any of the Legion tactics since they are not Infantry, Bikers, Helbrutes or Daemon Princes.  Once their codex releases though this opportunity will likely disappear so enjoy it while it lasts.  Next up on the review list will be the Chaos Heavy Support vehicles, till then I hope you stay find this review and my other informative.


  1. Quick point- the Forgefiend can't take three Hades cannons. The head hardpoint can only replace the Jaws with an Ectoplasma Cannon.

    1. That's what I get for staying up late. Thanks I will fix that entry.

  2. It's not a dragon, it's a dinobot.

    1. It's both a dragon,a flying dino bot and a huge robot chicken.

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