Chaos Marines: Maulerfiend & Heldrake Experiences

I have done a lot of experimenting with the new Chaos Marines. I’m done with struggling playing lists using what I own, and I need to grow the army. To that end I’ve begun working on a list featuring Spawn and Bikers so far. I’ve toyed around with a few other units as well, and have learned a few things.

Aside: I have since done a proper review of the Maulerfiend.


The Maulerfiend is a unit I’ve toyed with for a handful of games so far, and have had limited success. The big thing for me is that he can move 12″, and isn’t slowed by terrain at all. Oh, it has fleet too. So, it can keep up with Bikers and Spawn easily.

Keeping up with them so far has been the easy part, but being useful has been the hard part. Even the usefulness I feel falls more to me and moving it than it does anything else. Basically, I’ve been too aggressive with it. Just because it could leap on something turn #2 doesn’t mean it should. If I can temper myself a bit with the Maulerfiend, I feel I’ll do far better with it.

Regarding its use I’ve been thinking about the lasher tendrils (reduce attacks by 2 against those basing it), and the magma cutters (free I1 attacks if it hits something in combat). So far I have put the lasher tendrils on it. My thought has been it gives the Maulerfiend the ability to go after units as well as vehicles. When you have 4 S10 attacks on the charge, do you really need the additional attacks from the magma cutters for taking down a vehicle – at least coupled with daemonforge? It just seemed overkill.

The problem I’ve run into is that I’m dying from shooting attacks (not surprising), or I get into combat with a grenade equipped unit. The models are only making 1 attack and tendrils do not let me reduce attacks below 1, so it’s useless in that situation. It’s great to reduce down that power fist coming through, or if I was going up against another Dreadnought, but I feel those are situations I should be avoiding. I feel the Maulerfiend is for crushing vehicles, taking down tanks, opening transports, etc.

To that end, I feel sticking with magma cutters is my best bet. It’s insurance to do the job well, and if I do find myself against a unit then the Maulerfiend gets a little extra killy; which seems better considering the tendrils have proven very limited use thus far. Oh, and magma cutters are free, tendrils are not.


Another unit I’ve tried, though only once, was the Heldrake. I have to admit I was very impressed with it. I took the baleflamer on it, a S6 AP3 torrent flamer with soul blaze. In the game I played with it, it accounted for most of my kills against my opponent. It did not completely devastate my opponent, but it was useful every single turn. As a flyer it’s naturally fast as well, keeping with the theme, but it also has hover, which I found to be great. The Heldrake doesn’t give me that same sort of saturation effect that the other fast units do. It can’t get into combat, but I found it did very well to supplement those other units.

Anyway, just some of my experiences and thoughts so far on a few units I’ve gotten to test out a bit. If anyone else has experiences with these units then I’d love to hear it.




I began playing Warhammer 40K in 2006, and have been an avid player and hobbyist since then. I have also been blogging about 40K for almost as long as I've been playing it, having started Creative Twilight in 2009.

View All Thor's Articles

  • Murph

    I like running the mauler with a unit of nurgle spawn, some units have the ability to deal with one but not the other and there speed makes it easy to dictate the combats.

    Heldrakes are money. That is all

    • Nurgle Spawn is the only way to go and I fully agree on the Heldrake.

  • Not used the two daemon engine walkers yet, but used the Heldrake several times. I am really enjoying the Heldrake. It’s weird how a flamer attack can be so useful, it’s wicked for tackling anything not in termie armour.

    The Mauler, have you tried using Spawn or Bikes to attack would be threats to the Mauler i.e meltaguns? What long range fire have you got to give those units some support as they advance?

    • Long range support is non-existent in the lists I’ve been running. Between the fiends, Bikers, Spawn and compulsory choices, I’m left with little, at least at 1,500 which is what I’ve been playing to get ready for a tournament next month.

      I’d like to fit something in but it comes at a cost and really the only spot to save on is that fast attack but then I lose that fast saturation. I think ultimately I need more practice with the list. I have enough to crack tanks, just a matter of proper delivery.

      I have been trying to remove the threats to the Maulerfiend but the bitch is people are getting lucky with plasmaguns of all things. It’s not melta or lascannons taking him down, it’s damn plasmaguns. People have a boner for them in 6th and it’s taken in such quantity that it’s hard to remove.

      • Actually, by dropping the Heldrake I can get in some long ranged fire support. I like it but at this point level I gain more by keeping the other units for synergy. I also don’t own the model yet and so it all works out.

  • JustHippie

    What about the Dirge casters? Have you tried using them and rushing Rhinos up to stop the overwatch. Defiler can take one too although it isn’t as fast as a Rhino and the Maulerfiend/Spawn/Bikers.
    Sounds like you’re having fun trying stuff out at least.

    • Tough part is getting all the parts in place at the right time. That’s the tricky part.

  • Khorne Inquisitor

    If you’re looking for speed, perhaps throw some slaanesh stuff in. For example, a slaanesh sorcerer with his ability to blind as well as reduce BS and WS means that you could help your stuff survive. Perhaps a squad slaanesh marked warp talons. I5 dual lightning claws? :). Or stick a sorcerer on a steed or bike and stick him with your bikes. A guy with a bike and ML 3 is only gonna cost 150 and that’s with a mark of slaanesh. (mind you that cost is calculated mentally without a book here). But either way, I see it as pick up some long ranged firepower or something to reduce their ability to kill you (infiltrating SC like arihman or Huron work as they get you in his face fast).

    • Epaminondas

      Huron would work well for this list

      • Yeah, he’s on my list of stuff to test out.

    • I plan to try a Sorcerer on bike but he has to be Nurgle to ride with the unit, can’t mix marks. Huron I still want to test out. I don’t need to get bikes or Spawn closer quicker really, they’re fast enough, but moving up slower stuff to support the faster stuff would be handy.

      • Gian

        A little note would be a warpsmith works well. Give him crimson slaughter prophet of the voices to give him an invuln and a speed boost.

        • The problem there though is that he can only join Possessed. I don’t own any Possessed at the moment but still, putting him in there (even if I had them), doesn’t seem ideal. Possessed need to be moving forward to get into combat while the Warpsmith wants to hang back a bit to support the army.

%d bloggers like this: