Forgefiend Review: So Much Dakka

While things have changed some in 8th edition for the Forgefiend, it’s still mostly the same as it was in 7th. If you were a fan of the Forgefiend previously then you’ll continue to be in 8th. If you didn’t really care for it before then that may have changed.

So, stick around, read a bit, and see what you think.

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 (4+), but the potential for damage is amazing. It also means most opponents will gun for it from the start of the game.

Rules & Info

A gain for the Forgefiend in 8th was getting 2″ of extra movement, so an 8″ move. The extra movement is nice if you need to reposition for getting shots of. It can also be handy to get a charge off if you need to tie something up in combat.

Being a Daemon engine, the Forgefiend has all the usual rules: Daemonic, and Infernal Regeneration. All the usual stuff here. Daemonic gives it the 5+ invulnerable save, which is great because having an invulnerable save in 8th is huge. Infernal Regeneration lets you recover one wound at the start of each of your turns. I love this change over the old It Will Not Die. No more rolling for it – it just happens.

There’s a few stratagems that the Forgefiend can get some use of. Blasphemous Machines will let you move and ignore the heavy weapon, or assault weapon penalty. Not too bad.

The big winner though is Daemonforge. This is a bit like it used to be in 7th but better. Daemonforge lets you re-roll all failed hits, as well as all failed wounds in that phase, be it shooting or close combat. I use this stratagem nearly every turn. Pouring out Hades Autocannon shots with re-rolls can really put a big dent in most anything.

Forgefiend Wargear

The options are simple here. The base cost is 119pts plus the weapons. You have the Hades Autocannons: 36″, Heavy 4, S8, -1 AP, Damage 2. So, two of these gets you 8 shots, with each gun being 25pts, so 50pts for the pair.

There’s also the Ectoplasma Cannons: 24″, Heavy D3, S7, -3 AP, Damage D3. These run you 26pts each, so 52pts for the pair. Also, same as in 7th edition, you can add an Ectoplasma Cannon to the head. Now it replaces the Daemon Jaws though.

Speaking of, Daemon Jaws are new to 8th. It’s a nice little addition that gives the Forgefiend a little close combat ability. They are user strength, -1 AP, and 2 damage. So, you get a little edge in combat over having nothing, and 2 damage is decent. You do have to pay 8pts for it, but what can you do?

Oh, if you’re playing power level then the Forgefiend is 9 power.

Forgefiend

I’m a fan of the Hades Autocannon option and not taking the head replacement. The Hades setup runs 177pts (with the Jaws), so it’s a reasonable price for the volume of fire it puts out. While the Ectoplasma has a better AP, I feel the Hades outclasses it everywhere else.

The S8 on the Hades means a 2+ to wound your typical infantry. While the -1 AP isn’t great, it’s better than nothing. I also like the flat 2 damage as well, giving you a potential for 16 damage. The Ectoplasma has the potential for 18 damage (27 damage if you add the head option), however that’s based on D3 shots and D3 damage. I tend to prefer weapons I know the output of instead of relying on random.

Now, I’m not saying the Ectoplasma is a bad choice. If your meta has a lot of elite infantry then this could be a great weapon. It can even be good against vehicles. I’ve just been let down too much by random D3 shot weapons. Again, I’d rather know I have 8 shots that turn than to hope for 8 shots and instead get 2 because of dice.

Personal preference though.

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.

My targeting is often light to medium vehicles, somewhere the 2 damage a wound has a bigger impact. As far as infantry goes, anything is fair game for either weapon option. The S8 of the Hades 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 BS 4+ looks bad on paper, but at the end of the day it doesn’t often hinder the Forgefiend, especially with the Daemonforge stratagem.

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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.

  • Sweet! You updated this article.

    • Finally. The downside to writing stuff like this is the need to come in and update all of them when A) there’s a new codex, or B) the core rules get updated.

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