Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review of Games Workshops, Dataslate: Helbrutes

The Dataslate: Helbrutes was anticipated by so many Chaos Space Marine players. In their new codex the Helbrute is arguably the worst unit in the book. The unit doesn't match up to the fluff and for the points there are better alternatives that players take. Until the recent release of the new dynamic model players only could get their hands on the static model released in the Dark Vengeance box set.  But knowing Games Workshop they gave us a new Helbrute model and to make sure we bought it they released Dataslate: Helbrutes, their attempt to fix the Helbrute and sell some of the new models. We won't be reviewing the new model in this post, but just the Dataslate.

First is the Dataslate: Helbrutes gives new rules only for the three new formations. So this doesn't fix the Helbrute for Codex: Chaos Space Marines or any other codex with a Helbrute in it. So you will have to use these formations to gain any of the special rules with them. Second all formation can only be used by Codex: Chaos Space Marines as one of your detachments.

Mayhem Pack, this formation consists of three (3) Helbrutes with no restrictions and the following special rules:
  1. It Will Not Die - you get a hull point back on a 5+ each turn.
  2. Mayhem from the Maelstrom - must start in reserves and can deep strike.
  3. Tormented Terrors - at the start of your movement phase make a single roll on the "Crazed" table all models in this formation are affected by the result even if they didn't suffer a glancing or penetrating hit.
Overview, of all three of these this formation this one is pretty much the one to take, you get It will Not Die, that alone means this formation is going to be focused by your opponent. You have to take three (3) of them so that is at least one solid turn of your opponent worrying about this unit to wipe it out. Down side you don't get them first turn that kind of sucks but deep striking this on your opponents back door makes up for it.

Helcult, this formation consists of one (1) Helbrute unit and two (2) units of Chaos Cultist with no restrictions and the following special rules:
  1. Apocalyptic Fury - the Helbrute has the Rage special rule, and with all melee attacks roll to hit with the result of one (1) are not discarded but randomly hit a friendly model within six (6) inches of the Helbrute if there are no friendly models within six (6) inches then discard these attacks.
  2. Living Idol of Chaos - as long as the Helbrute is alive both units of Chaos Cultist have the Fearless special rule, if the Helbrute is completely destroyed the Chaos Cultist lose the Fearless special rule and gain the Zealot special rule.
  3. Human Shields - if the Helbrute is partly covered by one or more of the formations units of Chaos Cultist the Helbrute receives a 3+ cover save, but for each successful cover save that is made the one (1) model is removed from the Chaos Cultist unit as a casualty with no saves allowed. 
Overview, meh at best sure you get a 100 point meat shield that can get your Helbrute in to melee range. Sure the Chaos Cultist get fearless so they are not going to run but they are not going to do much combat wise, especially in melee. This formation is a minimum of 200 points and it is the cheapest of them all. We say give it a try let us know how well it works, but don't expect it to face roll your opponent.  

Helfist Murderpack, this formation consist of five (5) Helbrute with the restriction of one of the Helbrute must be nominated as the Helbrute Champion, special rules are as followed:

  1. Murderpack - all five (5) of these Helbrutes count as a single vehicle squadron.
  2. Pack Leader - Helbrutes can make Look out Sir rolls for the Helbrute leader so as long as they are with in 6 inches of the leader. If any of the Helbrutes have crazed markers they don't roll on the "Crazed" table but instead the controlling player can decided what results they want from the "Crazed" table those results are only applied to Helbrutes who have crazed markers on them.
  3. Death of a Leader - if the leader is kill all other Helbrutes have the Rage special rule.
Overview, it seems a bit pricy! Minimum of 500 points sunk in to one formation, that can be easily overwhelmed. Lot of Rage going on with this unit but it is still squishy. This might have its place in an Apocalypse game but in a normal 2000 point game we don't see the value in this formation.

In closing the Dataslate: Helbrutes  is not a bad buy at $5. If you are a CSM player this isn't going to break the bank and it might give you something new to try and you might get some use out of those models you picked up in the Dark Vengeance box set.

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