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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.