Out of the many Daemon Engines that serves the forces of Chaos in Warhammer 40,000, one of the most deadly in close combat is the Maulerfiend. These beasts can rip apart dreadnoughts limb from limb and if they catch a squad of warriors... then you won't just need a mop and bucket, you'll need litter picking to collect all the bits for a week.
The Maulerfiend has a large arsenal of weapons; power claws, lashers and magna cutters, which combined has allowed them to down many a titan in their time by damaging and severing it's joints. It acts like a wild beast in combat because it is little more a wild beast; deep inside its chest is an imprisoned daemon which provides the rage and fire to power the engine's limbs. Even walls are of little use against the Maulerfiend, as they will just clamber over them or check them for weaknesses and rip their way through, or sometimes use melta-claws!
The Maulerfiend is highly prized by the Traitor Legions, no more so than by the Iron Warriors, who see the creations as useful siege breakers. Few, if any, can withstand the assault of such a fierce daemonic creation.
On the Table
It's the smashy sibling to the Forgefiend trading in the dakka for much more choppa. Basically, it picks up the slack that Mutilators and Warp Talons were supposed to take on in the new codex, but didn't.
- That's a lot of S10 Power Fist attacks made at not-initiative step 1 for not a lot of points! A fully intact Mauler costs 125 pts. and can throw down 4 attacks on the charge, in addition to...
- FREAKY tentacles! The lesser of the options puts two pairs of lasher tendrils, which have the immediate effect of stripping a total of 2 attacks from any enemy in base contact but this costs 10 pts. The better option is to throw down with the stock magma cutters that deliver an S8 AP1 Armourbane hit if at least one of the power fist attacks hits; 2 if it hits will all of them.
- Wait, is this CSM or DEldar? The Mauler can make a 12" move in the move phase and isn't slowed by difficult terrain, even when charging. It also has fleet, Move Through Cover and +1 on the damage table against buildings, just in case.
- Has all the cool Daemon Engine thingies: 5++, IWND, and Daemon Forge.
- No ranged weapons.
- Dedicated assault troops will tear it apart. WS3 and I3 along with dreadnought front armour will have it haywired to death; assault termies will also wreck its shit as will pretty much any dreadnought with a power fist.
Controversially, the Maulerfiend isn't a very useful close combat tool to take on other close combat tools as it will way too often come up short should the thing it fights have ANYTHING that can hurt vehicles. On the contrary, it's more useful when wielded against armies that lack close combat abilities and instead prefer the camper's path. Guardsman transports and contents, buildings under garrison, and funnily enough, Tau battlesuits add their names to the Maulerfiend's preferred victims list. The Mauler can dash through cover and avoid line of sight while closing distances between itself and prey; then it can hop out without much in the way of penalty to surprise those camping faggots with power fists and magma cutters, like a giant daemon engine Kool-Aid man!
Arguably, Maulerfiends' claim to fame is that "a pair of them can rip apart a Reaver Battle Titan". Most people are impressed by this feat, but few remember that with so many attacks at strength 10 armor 14 isn't so impossible to beat and that Reavers are only WS 1. Besides, most people who don't play Apocalypse also don't know that Reaver Titans have a rule specifically stopping them from fighting anything that isn't a Gargantuan Creature or Super-Heavy Vehicle in close combat. And so Maulerfiends soak up more than their due of enemy firepower, the CSM player walks away happy, and GW laps up another $68.
The Ballerfiend sees some fairly significant changes in 8th. The bad news is that Fleet, Move Through Cover and the +1 damage against buildings are gone. Now the Maulerfiend has a 10" move which drops to 8" at half wounds and 6" at 1/4 wounds. It still gets that Daemonic 5++ save, and with changes to vehicles they simply have a 3+ Save and Toughness 7 which isn't a lot but also isn't terrible, along with 12 wounds which is pretty good (Predators have 11 wounds, Helbrutes have 8 and Land Raiders have 16, so it's right in the middle of the spectrum).
Better news is that with stats no longer capped at 10, the Maulerfiend's 6 Strength doubles to 12 for it's attacks (but it's hitting on 4). It Will Not Die is replaced with Infernal Regeneration which automatically heals a wound every turn rather than needing to roll for it.
Magma cutters and Lasher tendrils have also changed. Magma cutters are now a completely separate Pistol weapon with 6" range, Strength 8, AP-4 and 3 Damage, which is probably more accurate as a small cutting laser great for getting through armour but not really great for doing tons of damage. Lasher Tendrils are also a (melee) weapon;
with them equipped Maulerfiends can make an additional D6 attacks at its base strength, with AP-2 and dealing 2 damage. They are now fixed 6 additional attacks, for a total of 10 attacks (6 with the S6, AP-2, D2 tendrils, 4 with the S12, AP-3, D3 fists.)
|Forces of the Thousand Sons|
|Leaders:|| Chaos Champion - Chaos Lord - Chaos Sorcerer |
Daemon Prince - Exalted Sorcerers
|Troops:||Chaos Spawn - Rubric Marines - Rubric Terminators|
|Castellax-Achea Class Battle-Automata|
|Vehicles:|| Chaos Dreadnought - Chaos Land Raider |
Helbrute - Predator - Rhino - Vindicator
| Silver Tower of Tzeentch - Forgefiend |
Heldrake - Maulerfiend - Defiler
Fire Lord - Doom Wing
|Daemons:|| Flamers of Tzeentch - Horror - Screamers of Tzeentch |
Mutalith Vortex Beast
|Auxiliaries:|| Cultists - Prospero Spireguard - Thrall Wizards |
Tzaangors - Tzaangor Enlightened - Tzaangor Shaman
|Allies:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines|