Maulerfiend Review – Unleash the Daemonic Hound

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Chaos Space Marines Review for 7th Edition

Continuing on with this series, which I seemingly forgot about until checking site stats and finding its done relatively well, here we are with the Maulerfiend in the Chaos Space Marines unit reviews. As always, I’m not a competitive gamer, so I just like to share my experiences, not dictate how you should utilize something.

General Info

A big fast daemonic robot-thing that smashes stuff. What’s not to love about the Maulerfiend? This model quickly became one of my favorites when the 6th edition Chaos codex dropped so many years ago. I absolutely love walkers in 40K. I just love big robots in general. So, to get a model that looks awesome (I think, though I know many dislike it), and can leap across the board in short order, and I was sold.

Rules & Info

The best feature of the Maulerfiend is its ability to move 12″ a turn. On top of that, it has Fleet. Oh, let’s not forget that it’s not slowed by terrain at all thanks to the Siege Crawler rule. The icing on the cake is Move Through Cover. No Dangerous Terrain tests here. There’s few things in the game of 40K that this thing can’t chase down. Siege Crawler also adds 1 to the pen results on buildings, but how often does that matter?

 

Maulerfiend vs Command Squad
Me catch you!

It comes equipped with two Power Fists, giving it 4 attacks on the charge. While this isn’t as good as a standard Space Marine Dreadnought (damn loyalists!), it has some options (see below), that really help it out in combat.

Where the Maulerfiend suffers a bit is its WS3. Odds are you’re hitting on 4’s anyway, but those retaliation attacks are often hitting you on 3’s. Plus, it’s only I3, so Marines are planting Krak Grenades on you with 3’s to hit, and before you swing. Still, they need 6’s with those Krak Grenades to glance the Mauler, and if they do then there’s the 5++ (invulnerable), to try to shrug it off.

While I3 isn’t great, it’s not often an issue when fighting infantry. The stuff that infantry has which will seriously hurt a Maulerfiend is normally I1. If you’re lucky then you’ll remove that threat before it happens. If not, again there’s the 5++ to help the Mauler out.

One of the most often forgotten rules the Maulerfiend has is Daemonforge. Once per-game you can declare you’re using this at the start of the assault phase. For that turn you can re-roll failed armor pen results, and failed to wound rolls. Very useful when something has to die that turn. Just pray to the Chaos Gods that you don’t roll a 1 after though, or else the Mauler will lose a hull point.

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Let’s not forget the Mauler has It Will Not Die. It’s not a roll you want to bank on, but getting back a hull point on a model that gets a lot of attention is great.

Something I really like is that the Maulerfiend is in the Heavy Support area. It’s not going to compete with other fast units from Fast Attack, meaning you can get a very fast list with Chaos. I also find that many of us CSM players don’t pull much from Heavy Support, so there’s little competition for its slot.

Lastly, the Maulerfiend has Daemonic Possession, so you can shrug off (assuming you don’t roll a 1), those Shaken and Stunned results.

Maulerfiend Wargear

There are only two options available to the Maulerfiend: Magma Cutters and Lasher Tendrils. The Lasher Tendrils will run you 10pts, but they are well worth it. The Lasher Tendrils reduce attacks of models in base contact by 2, to a minimum of 1. Also, the effect is cumulative. So, if you run two Maulers then it’s -4 attacks to those basing both of them. Doing this will let the Mauler hunt down really nasty things like Knight Titans and Daemon Princes.

The Magma Cutters are additional attacks you make at I1. If the Mauler gets 1 hit the it gets 1 Magma Cutter attack, but if it hits with all of its attacks, then it gets 2 Magma Cutter attacks. The attacks are S8/AP1 with Armorbane. Using these is great if you plan to hunt down vehicles, but I don’t often use them. Between 4 attacks on the charge at S10, and the option to Daemonforge, rarely do I find myself wishing I had the Magma Cutters.

Use on the Battlefield

The Maulerfiend, plain and simple, is a threat to anything. I use mine to chase down and neutralize threats I want gone fast.

Getting into combat with infantry isn’t exactly what the Maulerfiend excels at, however, it’s still useful to tie down things you don’t want moving. For the most part, I will use my Mauler to go after monstrous creatures, and to crack open transports and tanks. You just have to be careful to not let your Mauler get too far ahead of your army, which is easy to do with its fast movement. The Mauler is a priority target for any opponent, so presenting it too early to your enemy, without the proper support, will just see it nuked before it does anything worthwhile. But, if you keep it in check, and support it properly, then it can win you games.

Speaking of target priority, running two Maulers is great. As I said, people will gun for it early, so having a second one is never a bad idea. You can also gamble a bit more when you run them in pairs; one should live, right? Having two also lets you really utilize the Lasher Tendrils and Magma Cutters. Do the 2 x Lasher Tendrils for the -4 attacks, or mix it up to reduce attacks and get some bonus attacks with Magma Cutters.

Either way, try to keep them together and after the same target. There isn’t much that will stand up to two Maulerfiends, and you can even manage to pound through an infantry unit.

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Maulerfiend
Mauler just want hug!

Conclusion

At a base cost of only 125pts for an extremely fast-moving walker that packs a punch, has an invulnerable save, and It Will Not Die, it’s a steal. It’s not invincible, and there are some fights you don’t want, but you can’t go wrong taking 1, 2, or 3 of these in your list.

Any fellow Chaos players have something to add? How do you use your Maulerfiend(s)?

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Series Navigation

<< The Chaos Sorcerer and How to Make Him EffectiveDefiler Review – What’s My Battlefield Role? >>
  • I absolutely love Maulerfiends and do not regret getting a second one. Running two together are easily more than twice as good as just running one. More threats = high chance of your opponent make poor choices.

    And with the FAQ draft from GW stating that only one model per unit can use grenades in close combat the Maulerfiend’s survivability increased a lot.

    • I do like that grenade change. Not everyone is happy about it, IE: Marines. However, having basic troops – even Marines, just plant grenades all over your walkers and vehicles does get old.

      • Marines, both the pretty boys and our bad boys; astra militarum vets with melta bombs; tau with haywire grenades; ork tankbustas; all weep for the loss of mass grenades in assault.

        • Indeed, CSM also take the hit, but I think it’s just a fair ruling. It was often way too easy for a handful of guys to drag down a 20-ton rampaging machine. If a Dreadnought wades into infantry, that Dreadnought should, more often than not, come out on top.

          • That’s my exact sentiment too.

  • Best walker…ever. (non super). It took me six killa kans and a deff dread to kill one once.

    • If you can make those 5++ saves, then a Mauler can stick around for a very long time. Against things not packing S10, like Kans, it can just chew through it. It really does excel hunting down weaker walkers.

  • I am liking this sort of review! Pity they can’t be taken in packs though.

    So Forgefiends and Defilers next please.

    • A squadron of them would be damn useful for sure. Maybe in the next CSM codex…

      Noted, though the poor Defiler. He’s the walker you want to love but will almost always let you down :(

      • Yeah but I lvoe the look of the model, much more than a Soul Grinder for some reason.

        • I’m with you. The Defiler was one of my draws to Chaos. I just liked how it looked.

  • IZ CAN BE HUGS TIEM NAUW? XD

    MaulerFiends are one of my favorite Units. I do wish they had a couple more Attacks, and that the KDK ones didn’t cost an extra 5 Points for no reason (OK, yeah, they get Furious Charge, but that only makes a difference if both Fists get blown off), but still, in either CSM or KDK, I love them for the Points.

    Speaking of which, you know what’s better than running two MaulerFiends? Running three of them :D I can’t wait to get my fourth together and painted up and on the field.

    Personally, I wouldn’t take more than half of them with Lasher Tendrils. Most of the things that can really hurt you have relatively few Attacks per Model, and are also the kinds of things where the extra Hits from the Magma Cutters are really nice to have.

    It Will Not Die and DaemonForge have both been incredibly frustrating Rules for me. Calling DaemonForge on anything I’m not auto-hitting pretty much means I’m going to whiff completely, and I don’t think I’ve ever had IWND kick in on a MaulerFiend that wasn’t Immobilized. Those get themselves back up to full HP regularly :P

    • Yeah, both tendrils and cutters have their use for sure. Speaking of bad rolls, and I have all the same bad rolls you mentioned, the Magma Cutters. It’s one reason I stopped taking them on my lone Maulerfiend.

      Great! I hit with all attacks, time to make 2 Magma Cutter attacks. Oh, damn. I missed with them! Next round of combat: OK, 1 cutter attack…missed!

      So, I said screw it, grabbed the tendrils for a useful passive benefit instead of missing all the time with those extra attacks.

      • The Magma Cutter Attacks hit automatically. That’s part of what I love about them. Against tough targets, they’re pretty much at least one guaranteed extra hit.

        Actually, that reminds me of something else: I wish there were a good way to get re-rolls to Hit with them. With so few Attacks, it can get frustrating how variable their performance is.

        • My god. I feel like an idiot. I read the part about getting attacks with them, and then overlooked that they hit automatically. I’ve been doing it wrong for years… *facepalm*

          The lack of attacks is my big gripe with the Mauler. If ever there was a punchy angry robot, it’s the Maulerfiend. Maybe the new CSM book will give us an upgrade to get re-rolls, or at least a single re-roll like master crafted.

          • Don’t feel bad. It’s buried in there. I missed it myself until someone else pointed it out to me.

            The one thing I can see is running a Khorne Herald on a Blood Throne with the Locus that gives Hatred in the middle of a pack of Maulers. But he’s such a squishy target and he buffs the Maulers so much that he’s pretty much just going to get gunned down first thing.

            • With a setup like that, yeah, that Herald won’t make it past turn #1. I’ve not run one on a chariot at all because I just feel he’s an easy target period.

              • I was really disappointed that the Herald on Chariot wasn’t also part of the Unit in the Skull Cannon Formation from Curse of the Wulfen. That would have been a cool bunch of firepower plus extra protection for him.

                • Forever has Chaos gotten the short end of the stick.

                  • Not forever. Just since September 2007. The 2nd Ed and 3.5 Chaos Dexes were awesome.

                    • Well, I came into CSM by 5th edition, so for me it’s been forever :)

                    • Sometimes I forget just how long it’s been. Hard to believe I’m coming up on 20 years playing this Game.

                    • I got into 40K 10 years ago. CSM was my 4th army, and final army. I came into it with the 4th edition codex, so I missed the coveted 3.5. Instead, I learned CSM with a bland and flavorless codex. If it wasn’t for the fluff and modeling, I would have abandoned them long ago with the poor treatment GW has given them ever since.

                    • Know ye then, that between the release of Codex: Eye of Terror and the coming of 5th Edition, there was an age undreamed of. Unto this came Abaddon, daemonsword in hand. A reaver, a slayer, a conqueror, destined to crush the Golden Throne of Terra beneath his armoured feet ;)

                      And I still didn’t even think about how long that 9 years has been. At this point, CSM have sucked for more of my 40K time than not.

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