Before I jump into the post, my desire to talk about myself has caught up with me. I've got my Vendetta repaired, and got a chance to use my new toy in a game today. I'll keep this brief. I played 2,000pts against Vanilla Space Marines, so I took my current 1,500pt list and threw some Wolf Scouts, a Dreadnought, a couple more Grey Hunters and my Thunderwolves in there, without any real thought just a chance to play with my cool toys.
In a drastic contrast to previous experience, I was really pleased with my Thunderwolves today, although the Storm Shield toting ones didn't do much, the Power Fist did, it's nice having a fast Fist. Here is a list of the things that he brutally punched to death.
Turn 1: Dreadnought
Turn 2: Vindicator
Turn 3: Drop Pod
Turn 4: Stormtalon
Turn 5: Killed by Terminators
The Terminators in question were pretty much the King of Hammer units. 10 of them, a couple with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields to sit at the front and take my Lascannons. In the squad there was also a Chaplain, making them fearless and giving them re-rolls, as well as providing them with an additional 3++, apparently the Iron Halo stacks with his Terminator Armour, and a Librarian, which managed to get the Invisibility rulebook psychic power, which was frustrating, and somehow they also all ended up with Feel No Pain. To cap this all off, they were embedded in a 14 all-round vehicle with Ceramite plating, quad-linked Lascannons and 5 Hull Points. The Spartan Land Raider.
Either way, this was a fun game and although only 4 Terminators including the sergeant, Libby and Chaplain made it to my lines, it was still enough, and it finished at the end of turn 7 with my opponent taking it 11-8. But anyway, Maulerfiend.
In a vacuum, I really like the Maulerfiend. It comes in at 50pts less than a Forgefiend, whilst maintaining it's durability. Fleet is actually useful on this thing too. It's devilishly fast. It moves 12” in the movement phase and is unaffected by difficult terrain. It also has a +1 to the building damage table too.
Essentially, it will absolutely wreck anything with an armour value, so long as it hits, it also gets what is essentially an automatic hit with a meltagun. If it hits with everything, this doubles. Nasty. It only has 3 attacks after taking its close combat weapons into account, so I wouldn't recommend using it to chomp on infantry, but get into combat with another unit with an armour value and it will rip it apart.
I can only see 2 problems with it though. The first is the availability of useful targets. On the Fortifications front, I have not seen a single Bastion or Fortress of Redemption since Throne of Skulls in July, they are essentially death traps, if you're inside it when it wrecks, you're in deep trouble. That just leaves the Aegis Defence Line and the Skyshield, both of which are indestructible, and I have seen these around. Therefore, opportunities to smash up buildings with your Maulerfiend are going to be limited at best.
Coming onto other vehicles, the 2 types that I am seeing at the minute are Battle Tanks and Flyers, both of which are going to be extremely difficult for your Maulerfiend to get at in most cases. Flyers for the obvious reasons, and your opponent would be foolish to hover his flyer near your Maulerfiend unless he/she really needs to. Battle Tanks, are also going to be buried inside your opponents army, especially if there's a Maulerfiend around. They typically have long range weaponary, meaning that they don't need to get close to you, so your opponent will just bubble wrap their vehicles with infantry, presenting a wall of squishiness that your Maulerfiend will struggle to break through.
That said, I think that the second reason is the most important, and probably why I don't think that many of these are going to be seen unfortunately.
On the Overlords Facebook group, there is an interesting topic regarding, 'how do you build your lists?' During 5th edition, I always liked to keep a strong firebase, just so that I'd always be able to reach out and hurt something, and preventing armies like Dark Eldar from just flying away from my Orks taking shots at them. I believe that this has become even more important in 6th, with 40k being much more of a shooting game now.
So, you're going to need some firepower. And where can the Chaos Codexes big guns be found? In the Heavy Support slots, meaning that these slots are going to be needed for giving your army some long range support, and unfortunately every other unit in this slot shoots better than a Maulerfiend. I like it, I really do, I definitely don't think that it's bad for it's points, but when looking at it's competition, and what kind of a role these force organisation slots need to fill, I'm not sure that it'll get a look in.