Guest Review of the Helbrute Formations by Adam


Adam from the Dice Abide Blog is here to review the new Helbrute Formations! For more reviews, check out the Tactics Corner!

So the Helbrute formation is here, yay! I’ve got a handful of these from Dark Vengeance, because they cost beans on ebay, less than $4 if you know where to look, so I’m quite excited to see some new rules to use some of my favorite minis.

Mayhem Pack

First up is probably my favorite. The Mayhem pack gives you access to 3 (individual?) Helbrutes, all of which get to deep strike and gain IWND. The downside is that they must roll on the crazed chart every turn. I’m sorry, what? I get to roll on a chart that lets me fire twice, or gives me rage/fleet? Helyes! For me, the ideal way to equip this unit would be just the standard build with a multi-melta and whatever combat weapon suits your fancy. When you deep strike, you’ll only need to land within 12″ of the enemy to be in double tap range, and wont really scatter out of maximum range anyhow. Most of the time you’ll be getting a bonus to combat, so the fist is handy, but you don’t want to go pure combat because 1/3 of the time you’ll be stuck shooting, but hey, firing 2 multi-melta shots isn’t a bad option!


This formation lets you take a Helbrute with 2 units of cultists. If the cultist are obscuring your brute, he’s going to get a 3+ cover save, but for each one you pass, a Cultist bites the dust. As if that wasn’t good enough, as long as the Helbrute is alive, he gives the cultists fearless, but when he dies the cultists get Zealot, so that’s even better! I’m still weary of taking a pure shooting brute in this formation, but it’s not the worst option either, though personally, I’ll probably be using my Plasma/Scourge in this group. It lets him sit back and blast away with his plasma cannon, or counter attack any enemies that get too close to my scoring cultists. Of any of the formations, this one would require the least reconfiguring of a list, and actually might add quite a bit to keep your cultists on the board (though they wont be able to go to ground).

Helfist Murderpack

The last formation is pretty interesting, though I’m not quite sure how viable. This gives you a vehicle squadron of 5 brutes, one of which is upgraded to a character with a 5++ save, who can make LOS rolls to keep himself alive. As long as the Alpha brute is alive, the whole unit gets to pick any crazed results, and applies that result to the whole unit. If you want pure shooting brutes, this is probably where to do it. If you take a couple HP of damage, you can fire back with up to 10 missiles and 20 Reaper autocannon shots. The jury is still out on this formation, as it’s at minimum 500 points, and probably closer to 550-600 after giving them equipment.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

50 Responses to “Guest Review of the Helbrute Formations by Adam”

  1. lordalchemy March 23, 2014 2:06 pm #

    I couldnt wait for this formation… sounds awesome and worth the price, this along with the Crimson Slaughter supplement breathes new life into CSM.. thanks for the info Adam.

    • Reecius March 23, 2014 2:34 pm #

      I totally agree. Crimson Slaughter helped them so much. The Helrbute formation is cool, not OP, not even really competitive I think, but fun and good enough to use and enjoy it.

  2. mercutioh March 23, 2014 2:27 pm #

    Such a Huge Boon to Chaos. This is an immediate answer to how does Chaos get across tje board to Tau reliably. For 500 points I get 3 deepstriking Helbrutes one tp sit on the back field with 2 fearless scoring units and 1250 points leftover to buy threats. Yes please!

    • Reecius March 23, 2014 2:35 pm #

      My only concern is that interceptor Tau will smoke all 3 Helbrutes the turn they arrive with Missilesides and such.

      • Knight of Infinite Resignation March 23, 2014 4:23 pm #

        you need to deepstrike somewhere that your helbrutes can see a decent target but not be seen by the whole Tau force. If this isn’t possible then you need more line of sight blocking terrain on the table!

        • Reecius March 23, 2014 5:19 pm #

          Yeah, but if you deep strike into hiding, and then fire frenzy the next turn with no targets, that sucks big time.

      • bonesaww666 March 23, 2014 4:24 pm #

        Considering that the Mayhem formation doesn’t have the vehicle squadron rules…

        They all come in separately but roll as one, it’s the bestest!

        • Reecius March 23, 2014 5:20 pm #

          I think that is the best of the bunch, too.

          • Adam March 23, 2014 5:46 pm

            1 reserve roll and 1 crazed roll, that can be really nasty if you fire frenzy the turn they come in.

          • Reecius March 23, 2014 6:57 pm

            Frenzy happens at the beginning of the movement phase, so they can’t frenzy that turn, unfortunately. Would be cool though, yes.

          • Adam March 23, 2014 9:27 pm

            Reserves happens at the beginning if the turn, then crazed at the beginning if the movement phase. What prevents you from rolling crazed?

          • bonesaww666 March 24, 2014 3:18 am

            Correct Adam, you don’t move before you Deepstrike…. Unless I have been making a rather horrid mistake every game…

          • dr.insanotron March 24, 2014 6:38 am

            And even if they did both happen at the same time the rules say since its your turn you get to pick witch happens first

          • Reecius March 24, 2014 11:01 am

            Fo sho, but since the Deep Strike counts as movement, it isn’t simo. I wish it were! That would be sweet to have them deepstrike and then fire frenzy!

          • Mark March 24, 2014 6:51 am

            Possibilities the turn you come in for Crazed.
            1-You get to shoot twice! Huzzah! Super cool for Multi-Melta’s, Plasma Cannons, Reaper Auto Cannons, Las Cannons. Neat w\ Heavy Flamers, if you’re gutsy with the deepstrike. If you have two bolters, 8 shots? eh.

            2-You get Rage and can’t use it. (meh)

            3-Uh-Oh! Better hope you’re within 12″ of something, or you don’t get to shoot! However, if you are within 12″ of something, there’s nothing forcing you to run. Shoot away! If you are forced to run, at least you get to re-roll the die (Fleet)

          • bonesaww666 March 24, 2014 7:03 am

            Oh gawd, please let me roll on the chart first!

            The ability to know what you are getting before hitting the table seems almost broken…

            Runs around Sue, DS nice and close, I would rather lose the dread the next round then have him sit like a half tard somewheres…
            Fire Frenzy, hello Landraider/Horde (depending on Loadout)
            Rage, wherever I want!

            The ability to know adds a huge amount of tactical flexability to this formation…

          • Adam March 24, 2014 8:02 am

            Yeah Mark, on a 1 it’s awesome, on a 2 it doesn’t matter and on a 3 you need to DS within 12″, since I’m planning on using this formation with multi-melta brutes, that actually works out fine.

          • Mark March 24, 2014 8:07 am

            Adam, the next argument from Reece would be, “but Tau Intercept pwns you”

            Anytime you can get Tau to shoot at stuff without Markerlight support is a “win” in my book. With Scryer’s Gaze too, having all of your stuff come in on turn 2, there’s a lot of target saturation for those things as well.

            3 Brutes, 1-3 Heldrakes…. what’cha gonna shoot at bub?

          • fleetofclaw March 24, 2014 8:49 am

            Adam you can’t roll crazed for the same reason you can’t cast psychic powers the turn you deep strike in. Can you roll crazed from reserves? No. Can you do things that happen “at the beginning of your movement phase” after you’ve deep struck (making it the end of that units move), no.

          • Adam March 24, 2014 9:19 am

            Actually fleet, you have that mistaken, you can’t use psychic powers for 2 reasons, first of all the psychic powers section specifically prohibits it, also you don’t generate warp charge.

            “On a turn that a psyker arrives from reserve (see page 124) he cannot attempt to manifest any psychic powers that must be manifested at the start of the Movement phase.”

            That’s on page 66 and has nothing to do with the Crazed chart.

            Reserves prevents abilities that manifest at the beginning of the turn, not things that happen at the beginning of the movement phase, you obviously weren’t quoting actual rules, just paraphrasing what you remember.

            “Unless stated otherwise, a unit cannot charge, or use any abilities or special rules that must be used at the start of the turn, in the turn it arrives from reserve.”

            That’s the actual quote, on page 125, and again, specifies abilities that happen at the beginning of the turn, not the beginning of the movement phase.

          • Dr.insanotron March 24, 2014 11:22 am

            @Reece let me ask you this . Can you cast blessings on a unit that comes in from reserve? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. This is the same thing as the order of operation for deep striking and crazed roll. My turn I get to pick the order things happen in when they are all things that happen at the same time

          • Reecius March 24, 2014 1:25 pm

            Yeah, you have point there. However, haha, I don’t think it is that big of a deal in this case as I don’t see any of these formations getting much use in competitive play, honestly.

          • Dr.insanotron March 24, 2014 12:00 pm

            Deep striking happens when = beginning of the movement phase

            Crazed roll happens when= beginning of the movement phase

            FAQ says when tow thing both happen at the bargaining of the same phase the person who’s turn it is decides the order in witch they happen.

            Does anyone have a counter argument yo these facts? Or am I missing something?

          • dr.insanotron March 24, 2014 3:42 pm

            Only if they take up your ally slot like they would in your events. When they dont I think you would see a lot more of them

          • Reecius March 24, 2014 6:56 pm


            But, the deep strike counts as your movement. I would argue that that means that something that happens at the beginning of the movement phase is too late for that particular unit.

          • dr.insanotron March 24, 2014 7:35 pm

            @ Reece. All you are arguing is that once a unit complete’s something at the start of the movement phase that unit then cant do something else that starts at the being of the movement phase

            That would mean a pysker could never cast more then one blessing or malediction but we no this is wrong and we know a unit can do more then one thing that has to be done at the start of a phase.

            So I can see any good argue meant so far oppose it

          • Reecius March 24, 2014 9:16 pm

            Psychic powers occur at the beginning of the movement phase. You can’t cast powers after entering from reserves. But, they do give a specific exception allowing you to cast them after other units have entered play.

            I see your argument totally, but feel that they wouldn’t be able to roll on the crazed table the turn they come in but every turn thereafter.

          • dr.insanotron March 25, 2014 6:42 am

            Actually the exception they give in the rule book is to not allow you to cast a psychic blessings or maladictions after coming in from reserve and it is the only exception given in the book to stop you from doing something at the start of the turn,

            To me the rules seam pretty clear especially with the GW FAQ that allows the player who’s turn it is to pick the order I witch they happen

      • mercutioh March 23, 2014 4:39 pm #

        if they do then my drakes just hit the table unimpeded. im ok with that. Chaos doesn’t have the Best Threats just a LOT of them

        • bonesaww666 March 23, 2014 5:26 pm #

          Yeah man, they do indeed.

          The Helfist has Vehicle Squadron in their rules, the Mayhem’ers are without.

          All I need to figure out now is how to get 3 of’em in with a squad of Termi’s, Heldrake(s) and some Obliterators…

  3. TinBane March 23, 2014 3:46 pm #

    I think the hellcult will see the most use. With fearless/zealot, min sized cultist squads aren’t a necessity. Used defensively, it’s a unit of cultists that are fearless camping on an objective with a hell brute to back them up. Alternatively, you can use the cultists independently of the hellbrute, or even keep one or both squads in reserve and run the hellbrute in to sacrifice it. If you take 2×25 cultists, if you value fearless+hatred at 1pt per model, then the helbrute “only” cost you 50pts. At that price point it’s decent value even if all it does is soak hits.

    Deep striking hellbrutes are going to struggle against tau/coteaz, but otherwise will be pretty useful. The murderpack of 5, I’m really not sure about. You are taking 500pts MINIMUM of over-costed units. Still, maybe it will have a place in an “all in” 9 helbrute chaos army (take all 3 formations). There isn’t a limit on how many you can take, right?

    • dr.insanotron March 24, 2014 6:40 am #

      So do the cultists in the formation still count as troops? and score?

      • fleetofclaw March 24, 2014 8:50 am #

        Yes, this was confirmed for troop broods in the Nid formations, sweet deal!

      • Reecius March 24, 2014 11:02 am #


        • Dr.insanotron March 24, 2014 11:24 am #


  4. Hotsauceman1 March 23, 2014 4:02 pm #

    The second one sounds the best, immovable Cultists? Get Divination from the Soceror, My god they will be deadly.

    • Adam March 24, 2014 9:20 am #

      One big problem is that going to ground in area terrain is a great way to keep cultists alive, but when fearless, they cannot do that. That’s been the biggest turn off to me for that formation.

  5. steven morrow March 23, 2014 8:35 pm #

    I used the cult last nght. it as very useful to be fearless. and it gave me a very reliable bunker for a sorcerer. The cultists fighting to their bitter end was also so much of a plus. They died in droves but who cares when you can rely on them to do their job of objective work to the last man.

    • bonesaww666 March 24, 2014 3:21 am #

      It’s pretty crazy that you could easily put in 2 CSM squads with Fearless characters then toss in 2 HB’s with 4 squads of Fearless Cultists…

      • Reecius March 24, 2014 10:59 am #

        Or you could just take Zombies.

        • Adam March 24, 2014 11:36 am #

          Unfortunately, that’s a higher tax and neither of the characters that get you zombies are terribly useful.

          • Reecius March 24, 2014 1:24 pm

            Typhus is a beast! He is the best HQ in the basic book, IMO. And don’t forget, you still have to take your obligatory troops slots, so the tax of a sub-par Helrbute is fairly steep. I am not saying it’s bad per se, but I don’t think it is better than Typhus at all. That said, I would rather have fearless cultists than Zombies in a general sense.

    • Reecius March 24, 2014 10:54 am #

      Fodder for the cannons!

  6. Mark March 24, 2014 5:39 am #

    Built a couple of the new kits, having two fist guy and a Power Scourge guy deep strike in the back field on turn 2 (with Scryer’s Gaze on a CS sorcerer) is super amazing fun balls.

    I agree with Reece, not OP, just fun & playable.

    With the abundance of S7 shooting out there (Plasma, HYMP, Serpents, Lootas) AV12 spam isn’t going to win games like Necron AV13 Spam does.

    • Adam March 24, 2014 9:21 am #

      Yeah, they all seem fun as hell, personally I might run double cults so that I can use my plasma-scourge brutes with a ton of fearless cultists for a 3+ cover save!

    • Reecius March 24, 2014 11:00 am #

      Yeah, exactly. It is good, can be great against the right opponent, but in general terms is going to just be a fun unit.

  7. vonvilkee March 24, 2014 6:39 am #

    Played against the murder pack (squad one) over the weekend. Squadrons of armour 12 are good, you can play the shuffle game (to keep them alive), you also have 4″ coherency so they can be spread out. Shooting them isn’t great, assaulting them can be tricky.

    Think about it worst thing is random frenzy, and being a single model. This unit fixes both, pick a result is huge.

    • Reecius March 24, 2014 11:01 am #

      I just worry that one Missileside unit wipes the entire thing out in a single volley.

      • vonvilkee March 24, 2014 12:05 pm #

        Could happen, but I never said competitive 🙂 it is a scissor unit tho and scary if you rely on low rate of fire powerful shots to kill vehicles like my list did. I did my best to ignore it but it took up a huge swathe of the table as a no go and killed some stuff, he could count on the result… Made it scary to target as I didn’t want to stun or shake him just to watch him retaliate with double the shots.

  8. Mercutioh March 24, 2014 2:04 pm #

    So thoughts on the Spam angle to taking these formations

    Crimson Slaughter base
    Sorc with the Crown Termi Armor L3 psyker
    10 cultists
    10 Cultists
    heldrake x3
    oblits x3

    Mayhem Pack
    Helcult with brute with tl Lascannon
    Helcult with brute with tl Lascannon

    Pray for the Sorc to get Scriers Gaze The rest is Gravy.

    Sit the Sorc with the Oblits Deep strike the multimelta brutes. and drakes.

    Burninate the countryside…..
    Burninate the Peasants

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