My Tactics pledge: I am not the greatest player, nor a seal pup. I will endeavor to speak from my experience and always be honest about what is theory and what is play tested. Never will I assume to know better than anyone else... unless I must call out ego or pretension.

Forging for Fail?

The Forgefiend is Games Workshop attempt to make you buy something new, and more over, not a Defiler.

The Forgefiend only has the shooty parts of a Defiler, but worse still, all the cost problems.

So, is the Forgefiend really too expensive for its own good?

Well let us look at the unit entry for some insights first.

(Click to Enlarge)

Forgefiend Rules





Key Components...

  • Cost 175 points
  • Armor Value 12
  • Access to Ectoplasma Cannons
  • Universal Special Rules
  • Daemonic Possession

--Plagued by a Points Problem--

Once again, we have the same problem as the Defiler: over-cost unit. At 175 points you get eight Strength eight shots. By comparison you can take a Grey Knight Psybolt Autocannon Dreadnaught with BS 4 for 135 points. Where the Forgefiend is a harder to hide and only has BS 3. Oh, by the way basic Autocannons have 48" inch range. You do the math.

--Forged of Tin--

Did you know a Predator with three Lascannons is only 140 points and has Armor Value 13 in the front? If Armor Value 13 it is good enough for the Soul Grinder at 135 points, then it should be good enough for the Forgefiend.

--What did you do, Ray?!--

Are Ectoplasma Cannons the saving grace for the Forgefiend? Yes, if they didn't have a range problem. Ectoplasma Cannons are only 24" range. A Forgefiend is going to have to get up close to use them. That is where Armor Value 12 rears its ugly head again. Still, having at least two Strength eight AP 2 Blast weapons is pretty nasty, with Terminators now coming outta of the woodwork. You could do a lot worse than having these weapons around...

Oh wait, why not take two Obliterators for cheaper?

--Why the Rent is so damn High--

The Forgefiend gets the same assortment of USRs that all the Daemon engines get, but would you trade them all in for either a cheaper unit or Armor Value 13? I think the answer is easy. The only one really worth a damn is Daemon-- the others won't matter if the Forgefiend is dead anyway.

--Daemonic Possession...I guess--

For a shooty unit having Daemonic Possession is a great asset, being able to negate half the damage table is pretty darn good. But at some point it becomes a bit of overkill, right? Like all the Daemon Engines they have all these tacked on rules, and only the Heldrake doesn't seem to be paying for it, making you wonder just how does Games Workshop calculate unit costs?


The Forgefiend only has the shooty parts of a Defiler, but worse still, all the cost problems.

Putting it all together

Once again, you have better choices than the Forgefiend. A Forgefiend is expensive and even with unique weapons, you have better options both within the Chaos Space Marine codex and for Allies. The final (I swear) example, take the Leman Russ Executioner without upgrades it can shoot three Plasma Cannon shots all at 190 points. You get move & fire, along with Armor Value 14 front, and 13 on the side. The Forgefiend is 200 points just to shoot three Ectoplasma shots with an increase in strength as the only benefit. Sure, it is a Walker, but they neglected to give the Forgefiend even one Powerfist.

So where does this leave the Forgefiend?

What role does it fit in a Chaos Space Marine army?

That is the major problem: no justification for taking a Forgefiend. Strength eight isn't bad for the weapons, but with fewer two wound Toughness four units around, what is the Forgefiend going to Instant Death?

I guess the use of a Forge Fiend is to negate Feel No Pain which a lot of units have. So if your local meta is Wraiths, Paladins, and Blood Angels maybe the Forgefiend has a place. With Daemonforge you can rack up the glances and penetrating hits on a vehicle.

So, maybe the hidden role for a Forgefiend might be anti-air, oddly enough. With eight shots from the Hades Autocannons you should hit at least once with your Forgefiend and with Daemonforge you should penetrate any Flyer. That leaves one final question, why not just buy another Heldrake for five points less?

A Word about Allies

With the allies available only Orks can really use a Forgefiend and the Exctoplasma Cannons, but then again why not take Imperial Guard allies instead? If you like Daemon allies you are better off with a cheaper Soul Grinder as your single Heavy Support option instead of a Forgefiend.

Final Thoughts...

Unfortunately, again Games Workshop missed the mark with the Forgefiend's look and playability. It is a close race for which is worse a Forgefiend or Defiler, maybe the edge goes to the Forgefiend because the amazing Sentinel assault capabilities. If you spent the money on the massive kit your better off with the Dinobot than the Vagina Dentata.


It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.