Forgefiend Review: So Much Dakka

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Chaos Space Marines Review for 7th Edition

Keeping on the daemonic engine units lately, here’s another one, the Forgefiend. Who knows, maybe I’ll finish this series some day?

General Info

As I’ve said numerous times, I love walkers of all shapes and sizes. I especially love the daemonic ones. This daemonic walker, the Forgefiend, puts out a lot of serious firepower. The amount of firepower is offset by its less than ideal ballistic skill (BS3), but the potential for damage is amazing. It also means most opponents will gun for it from the start of the game.

Rules & Info

Unlike its brother the Maulerfiend, the Forgefiend doesn’t get any rules to aid its movement. That’s fine. The goal though is to shoot things in the face, a lot. So, the standard 6″ movement is fine. However, it does have Fleet. Not that the Forgefiend needs fleet, but there it is anyway.

Being a Daemon engine, the Forgefiend has all the usual rules: Daemon, Daemonic Possession, Daemonforge, and It Will Not Die.

All the usual stuff here. Daemon gives it the 5+ invulnerable save, which is great to have and helps offset being AV12 some. Daemonic Possession lets you shrug off Crew Shaken + Stunned on a 2+. Never underestimate that ability. Daemonforge gives you the re-rolls once per-game against wounds or armor penetration. Never forget you have this rule as it’s game changing. Then there’s It Will Not Die, or as I call it, I Can’t Roll a 5+. Nice to get back hull points if you’re lucky, but never bet on it.

Forgefiend Wargear

The options are simple here. The base cost is 175pts, and it comes with 2 x Hades Autocannons: 36″, S8, AP4, Heavy 4, Pinning. So, two of these gets you 8 shots.

I’ve run the Hades Autocannons the most on my Forgefiend. The volume of fire helps offset the BS3. On average you’re landing 4 hits. If you’re firing on light to medium vehicles, which you should be at S8, the odds of getting something through are good. If you really need to try to tackle AV13+, it’s possible if you use your Daemonforge for those re-rolls. It’s still a last resort though.

Forgefiend #1
Disciples of Twilight Forgefiend

You have the option to replace the Hades Autocannons with the Ectoplasma Cannons: 24″, S8, AP2, Heavy 1, Blast, Gets Hot.

The downsides to this weapon is the shorter range, and having Gets Hot. The Gets Hot isn’t a huge deal, as taking a glance is a 50% chance, and then you have the 5++ to try and negate it. Still, I’ve taken my last hull point off with this weapon.

On the plus side, the Ectoplasma Cannon is AP2. This means you could take a vehicle out with one hit, unlike the Hades Autocannon. It also means the Forgefiend will be ignoring armor on infantry. Also, being a Blast weapon helps negate the BS3 as well.

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The last option available is to add an Ectoplasma Cannon to the head for 25pts. This is in addition to, and it does not replace anything. So, you could run 2 x Hades Autocannon + Ectoplasma Cannon, or 3 x Ectoplasma Cannon.

I’m a fan of the head option. It boosts the Forgefiend up to 200pts, but generally it’s worth it. However, if I’m tight on points in my list then I’ll forgo this. That extra weapon does boost the power a ton. Pairing it with the Hades gives you that chance to one-shot a vehicle, or ignore armor saves, while still putting out all those S8 shots from the Hades. Going for 3 x Ectoplasma makes it that much more reliable cracking open vehicles, and for nuking a unit off the board. You can’t go wrong with this option.

I have had good luck with all weapon variations on the Forgefiend, and I really can’t recommend one over another. Look at your list and determine what you need. If you’re got the AP1/AP2 area covered, go for the Hades. If you need that AP2, or more reliable vehicle damage, snag the Ectoplasma. Indecisive? Take the Hades and an Ectoplasma Cannon, which is what I do most often.

Use on the Battlefield

This is a really straight forward unit. Park this thing somewhere safe and fire away. If you’re using the Hades then you’ve got 36″ to work with, which should keep it safely out of harms way. The 24″ of the Ectoplasma means you have to advance up a bit more, or you could wait for something to come to you, but they rarely do.

As I said above, stick to targeting light to medium vehicles, AV12 and less. As far as infantry goes, anything is fair game for either weapon option. The S8 makes all infantry a viable target. Whether you prioritize vehicles or infantry will depend on the rest of your list.

Having a pair of Forgefiends is never a bad idea. They are a priority target for any opponent, so it will get a lot of attention. If a second Fiend isn’t possible then having other shooting threats will help: Predators, Obliterators, etc. If one Forgefiend is all the scary ranged shooting your list has then it will die quickly, and that will make you sad. You don’t want to be sad, do you?

Forgefiend & Maulerfiend

Conclusion

The Forgefiend is a great choice for fire power. There isn’t a list that couldn’t benefit from running one or two. Do be careful though, and don’t expose it more than you have to. Mine typically die to assault units, so if you can try to keep something around to help bail it out in that situation. I know the BS3 looks bad on paper, but at the end of the day it doesn’t often hinder the Forgefiend.

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  • Cheers for the review. I hope to run the black legion formation with them.

    • I need to pick that up at some point.

      • I’ve not read it, but heard of a couple of them.

        • Yeah, that Daemon Engine formation is pretty cool, and the one I’m most interested in trying out. I’m sure that’s the one you like as well?

          • For sure, it even ups there BS to four or five.

            Looking to find some second hand bikers to make into the BL cabal and all.

            • Unfortunately, you can only buff one of the two Fiends you have to take per Turn, and it has to be near the Warsmith. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s also not nearly as cool as it could be.

              • To me, the Forgefiends make the most sense for the formation. Being near a Forgefiend is easier than chasing a Maulerfiend around. Plus, going from BS3 to BS5 is a much better gain than WS3 to WS4.

                • You can buff the Forgefiend in the shooting phase and the Maulerfiend in the Assault phase. I’m planning on running a Daemon Engine pack with one of each and having the Warpsmith hanging around the Forgefiend. He can’t keep up with the Mauler anyway. The Mauler always draws a lot of attention. If your opponent doesn’t gun it down he’ll get a nasty surprice when it crashes into his lines. I’ll probably support them with another Mauler.

                  I’m really excited to try this formation out.

                  • Oh. I figured it was for the turn. I didn’t know it was per-phase. That’s better than I thought then.

                • I’m in the “one of each” camp. Let the MaulerFiend just run around doing MaulerFiend things while the Warsmith sits in a Havoc Squad or something, buffing the ForgeFiend.

  • I really want to like ForgeFiends, but they’re so badly overpriced. Seriously, compare them with pretty much any other AV12 Vehicle, and they fall so far short. Or within the same Codex, Autocannon Havocs. They’re only S7, but for slightly fewer Points, you can be landing twice as many shots on target. It’s often rather harder to kill off 15 MEqs than 6 AV12 HP, too.

    Then there are things like the Forge World Hades Autocannon Rapiers. 130 Points for the same firepower as a ForgeFiend, plus they’re Artillery, so they’re way more durable. And even those suck compared to the Quad Mortars that Loyalist Marines get.

    Finally, and I think I mentioned this on the MaulerFiend Review as well, DaemonForge is one of the most frustrating abilities out there, because you have to declare it before you roll to-Hit. I don’t think I’ve ever had a ForgeFiend land more than two Hits on a Turn when I used DaemonForge, and I’ve had it completely miss that Turn at least once.

    • Maulerfiends and Forgefiends are new. It may be that GW decides to tweak them in the next codex, but who knows really? Still, I like them.

      For me my enjoyment of the Forgefiend is the package you get. You’re right. If you break down shooting and points then you will find more efficient units. However, how many of those also have: Fleet (so silly it has this), Daemon, Daemonforge, Daemonic Posession, and It Will Not Die?

      Yeah, AV12 isn’t amazing, but you have a 33% chance to shrug off the damage. Then a 33% chance to get back the hull point you lost (if you live long enough of course). There’s an 83% chance to ignore shaken and stunned, which are 66% of the damage possibilities of a penetrating hit.

      It’s one of those models that has so much possibility, and has so much wrapped up into it, that I’ve always enjoyed using it.

      • Even when you add up all that, it still doesn’t match up. The only thing it really has going for it is the Rule of Cool, which I will absolutely grant it.

        • On the plus side, it’s an easy formation without any tax. You aren’t going out of your way to field models for a mediocre benefit. Sadly, Rule of Cool is about all CSM have going for them.

          • This is definitely true. On both points, unfortunately.

  • “However, it does have Fleet. Not that the Forgefiend needs fleet, but there it is anyway.”

    Last weekend, this actually came up in a Game. My Opponent was Charging in with a Forgefiend first to soak Overwatch, and rolled snake eyes for a 3″ Charge. But Fleet to the rescue!

    • I’ve done a few charges too with the Forgefiend. It’s a rare day, but I won’t complain over having Fleet on it.

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