Chaos Fiends – A Review

Part 4 of my Chaos Space Marine run down is the ‘Fiends box. I’ll be honest, when I first saw the pictures I wasn’t convinced. Yes the Forgefiend had fooking huge guns and yes the Maulerfiend looked like it could…maul something but neither one particularly spoke to me.

The funny thing about this kit, more than any thing else I’ve seen of the new Chaos stuff, Dark Vengeance included, is that you need to understand the rules to understand the model. I think this is partly because the model, on its own, is a tad disappointing. At least from the  product shots. Considering it’s supposed to be a daemon caged within a machine it’s surprisingly okay about it. It lacks the dynamism of the Heldrake and of their Juggernaught cousins.

That said, when you crack the seal open and get a look at the box what you’re presented with is a superbly designed kit. I mean genius. I’ve always had misgivings about the mutli-kits that GW started punting out because basically you’re paying a premium for a load of plastic you can’t do anything with other than stick in your bits box and desperately think of something to do with it all. And, honestly, that’s exactly what you’ll end up with the ‘Fiend box. Especially if you opt for the Maulerfiend over the Forgefiend.

However, the intelligence of the design is quite striking. It uses the body well so simple limb swamps have a striking result. Granted all the pictures of the Maulerfiend are with the Lasher Tendrils, which is an upgrade, rather than with the standard Magma Cutters it comes with but the parts well designed, actually fit together and go a long way to making the Maulerfiend look the beast it’s supposed to be.

The Forgefiend doesn’t fare so well, being incredibly static which is a shame because it’s component parts are actually awesome. Both the Ectoplasma cannons and the Hades autocannons look impressive with some really nice details, especially the Ectoplasma head which completely changes the feel of the model from that of a beast to a monster. But all it does is, essentially stand there.

And speaking of heads I’m actually surprising myself by going out to bat for the standard head. Because generally speaking I thought it looks stupid. It’s actually completely awesome but let down by being glued on the studio model in a pose that makes it look dopey and painted in such a way that made the fangs look comic rather than menacing. Yes the tongue is a bit much but you can’t win them all.

Whichever model you opt for you’re getting a chunky toy for your efforts. The two sprues (yes only two for £40 full retail) have a lot of bit. Big bits. Big bits with lots of detail. Big bits with lots of detail that actually feel Chaotic rather than spiky. And it’s about damn time.

The model feels crude yet ornamental. Artifice was at the heart of the Fiends before crudity and barbarity intervened. It’s the principle behind servitors taken to a horrid, violent, extreme. There’s subtle details on the model that make you wonder if the Fiends are just driven insane with pain and merely lashing out mindlessly. But perhaps I’m over thinking it. The massive limbs and the tremendously big, savage, animalistic looking weapons certainly do the job of creating menace.

 

Which is rather the point of using the Fiends. They’re shit scary and can potentially do some real damage on the board. Having thought long and hard about the options and considering my Dark Knights are a Night Lords splinter I have opted for the Forgefiend because it represents mobile heavy fire power. He’s a little pricy though, 200 points if you take the Ectoplasma head but it’s three weapon systems that are, as far as I can tell, not twin linked. This is somewhat of a two-edged sword because lobbing out 8 strength 8, AP4, shots from the Hades autocannon followed by a strenght 8, AP2, plasma shot is just sick. However the BS of 3 can, potentially, limit its effectiveness. The obvious choice would be to take 3 Ectoplasma cannons but then you run the risk of blowing yourself up.

The Maulerfiend on the other hand gets two power fists, can move through cover, leap tall buildings in a single bound and then fuck them over for 125 points. But it’s still only WS3 and initiative 3 which means against a Space Marine Dreadnought or a Wraithlord it’s going to get hurt. Not might, will. It’s absolutely at its best manging soft and squishy units and vehicles, thanks the its Magma Cutters getting Armourbane. Considering GW has made such a big deal out of the Lasher Tendrils they have rather limited use, only really benefiting you against units with high attacks. My advice; as you can build both options, do so and use magnets or pins to swap them over depending on who you’re fighting against.

Both are daemonic, obviously, and both get Fleet which even made me say ‘fuck you’ and I’m collecting the army. Maybe it’s just GW admitting that the only way for walkers to survive a game is to get into combat…

On top of those rules, the Fiends get Daemonforge which allows you to, once per game, re-roll any failed to wound rolls in a single shooting or assault phase. Which is horrid and potentially decisive. Although as it’s a one hit wonder it’s one of those rules that you may never use because you’re ‘saving it for the right moment’. And were Fleet not enough to help get your Fiends kicking people in the face, they also get It Will Not Die which allows it to recover a Hull Point on a 5+. Which actually makes them quite tough. Granted there is a huge array of weapons that are now a threat to armour 12 vehicles but still, it’s a huge boon and still for relatively low points. Particularly in the case of the Maulerfiend.

The Fiend kit is actually pretty impressive. The Forgefiend is a little static but the overall look is still imposing and the guns are huge. The Maulerfiend is slightly more dynamic but not much but it’s obvious menace makes up for it. There’s some real conversion value in the kits as well and the rules are actually pretty awesome as walkers are superb in 6th Edition.

The Forgefiend/Mailerfiend kit is available from Firestorm Games priced £36.00

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