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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Taking a Look At The Maulerfiend

Hey there Chaos fanatics! The holidays are fast approaching, and I hope you all get some 40K as your holiday of choice presents. I've got a few 40K things on my list, so I hope Santa will remember how good I was this year. I am also planning on seeing The Hobbit this weekend, so I will certainly write a review on that too.

So, I have two things going on here. First, I finished painting the Maulerfiend last week. I really like the size of this model. It is absolutely huge. A real monstrous creature, no doubt.  I got the kit for my birthday, along with 2(!) Heldrakes. So, with the Maulerfiend, I debated if I would put it together as a Mauler or a Forgefiend. Seeing as I have been working non-stop on my new Khorne Bezerker army, I thought that a Maulerfiend would be more appropriate.

First off, I put both the Heldrake and the Maulerfiend together at the same time. The Heldrake was very easy, and the directions were clear and numbered. The Mauler, on the other hand, was very, very difficult. The instructions were just unclear pictures without numbers. It really sucked- I cursed like a sailor as I assembled it. The thing is heavy, and it doesn't want to stand, so you have to be really careful getting it to stand right. I ultimately gave it a dramatic pose, but it was a pain to do. Well, perhaps now that I've done one, I'll be able to do others later on with more ease. I gave it lasher tendrils for the dynamic look (whether they are better than the Magma Cutters or not I'm not so sure). I also used the Ectoplasma head because it looks more mechanical- the other head (with tongue sticking out) looks rather dumb to me. I didn't do much to convert this one, as I was apprehensive about putting it together and painting it (I will certainly do more conversions on the next one). However, I did put a Khorne symbol on the large Chaos icon on its main plate- it looks rather striking I think, despite its simplicity.

Paint-wise, I utilized the same scheme as the one I'm suing on all my Bezerkers. The effect is harder to do on vehicles because of their size and large flat surfaces, but the Mauler has all kinds of curves and plates, so the effect actually worked out well here. As for the exposed metal, I did Leadbealcher followed by a heavy wash of Nuln Oil, followed by successive light highlights of the brighter silvers.  silvers. The metal trim of the armor plates and tendrils was my usual Bronze-->Scorpion Brass-->Runelord Brass. Of course the blood was a bit of Mephiston and Wazdakka Red. I decided to use blues to show the internal warp energies- a great contrast to the

Overall, I was thrilled by the completed paint job. It really goes with the rest of my army. The dark red plates, the brass highlights, and the fresh blood all combine to make a nice and unique looking model, while still tying in to the overall.

My second order of business here is to discuss my first attempt with my Khorne Bezerkers, a 1500 point battle against Eldar. Now, I only have a few things done- I never play with something that is unpainted. I just can't do it. One of the things I enjoy most about the whole hobby is placing my army out there- fully painted and ready to fight- I like seeing the fruits of my labor out on the field; plus, if I start playing with unpainted stuff, I may never FINISH a model again, which is not what I want.

So, my army list was very limited in options, since most of my stuff just ain't done. I took a Khorne Lord with a retinue of Terminators (5 with Lightning Claws, one with Heavy Flamer). I wanted to deep strike them in. I had 2 squads of 10 Bezerkers plus Rhinos- the Bezerkers had 2 Plasma Pistols and Chainaxes. I took a Helbrute with Twin Lascannon and Power Flail. I also took my Maulerfiend and a Vindicator. Coming up a bit short in points, I took 2 Spawn for 60 points. My opponent took a mix of Warwalkers, 2 Wraithlords, 3 squads of Dire Avengers and some wave serpents.

Needless to say, I didn't do too well at all. I did the stupidest thing in the world- I charged my Mauler right into the Wraithlord. I really thought that my Mauler stood a chance. But, the Wraithlord has a higher initiative, and is S10 (even though he had no Close Combat sword- is it the fact that the new rules don't jibe with the Eldar Codex or am I just dumb? I don't know). He cleaved the Mauler with ONE dice roll. Ugh.

The rest of my game went like that. Once my 1st squad of Bezerkers got to combat, they murdered the Dire Avengers. However, they were left exposed to ALL the Eldar fire, and were shot to hell. My Helbrute took two wounds out of the other Wraithlord, but couldn't finish the job and was destroyed. My vindicator destroyed one Wave Serpent, but that was about it. Finally, it took till turn 4 for the terminators to appear, and when they did they drifted 9 whole damn inches- away from any cover and right into his fire lines- they too were shot to pieces. At the top of turn 5 my friend had mercy and we called it a game- 5 to 2 victory points, though if the game continued he would have claimed more.

My friend played just fine. Joe is a tough, meticulous opponent, so I expected nothing less than a challenge. In fact, I fought him nearly every week 2 summers ago, and as I like to say, he "taught me how to hate"- the losses I suffered with my Dark Eldar against his Eldar taught me to look at and approach the codex differently- and when I did I became a tougher, better player. My friend Pete still blames Joe for making me a truly "evil" Dark Eldar player. You can check out that battle, if you are interested: Tyranids vs. Dark Eldar

This game was a rout though. I was disappointed that I lost so handily, and that my first time out with a new army was so bad right out of the gate. Now, I can see that I need cultists to hold objectives and run interference (I have zombies and renegades for my Plague Marines, but they don't look right for Khorne, so I'll need to start getting cultists). I also may have over-equipped my Bezerkers- they really don't need Chainaxes- they helped against the Eldar but weren't pivotal. My terminators were an out and out disaster though. Also, I can't figure if I used the Mauler totally wrong, or was it just the fact that the Wraithlord was so good rules-wise? I didn't use my Heldrake, as he's not finished yet. I'm also working on bikers, possessed, and eventually Havocs.

I'm basically trying to figure out where I went wrong.  If any of you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them! No, I don't want an "Internet List" or "Meta" or whatever. I have played a long time with Plague Marines, and Khorne Bezerkers are a different animal. It's not about winning (I'd wager that I don't have a good win record, if I tallied up all of my games over the years). I don't care about that, it's about being competitive- having a game that has some crazy rolls, or daring tactics, or incredible reversals- a game that has big moments and some laughs. A game like that anybody can (and should) enjoy, win or lose. Here, I was dead in the water almost immediately. That just isn't cool for anybody, as a one-sided game just doesn't have those highlights that make it so much fun for both players. So yes, I'm looking for ways to better my army, and better myself as a player. Win or lose, I just want some exciting games. So, like I said, if anybody has any ideas/advice, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time...

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