Khorne Daemonkin (KDK) tactics: Helbrute!
Scuba Steve here to give y’all the big ol’ lowdown on the craziest hombre to ever to crash the neighborhood hoedown. The Helbrute is that wild and crazy hombre of which I speak… the world has gone too long with this burly cowboy collecting dust in closets or sitting unbuilt in starter boxes around the globe… together… we can bring Helbrutes back. #bringinghelbruteback As always, be sure to check out other great articles in our Tactics Corner!
Alright, so let’s break the big guy down, take a look at his options, and find out what the best ways of running him are. All-in-all, the KDK Helbrute’s stock load out and all of his additional options are very simple. We won’t spend much time discussing weapons today, I think our time is better spent talking about how you want to play him over how you want to build him (I also believe this to be more important). Alright, let’s break it down:
- Power Fist
- Blood for the Blood God (This actually makes the Helbrute a great deal better)
- Crazed (Yeah, this is kind or random, but hey… “who doesn’t love a random table”)
- The Helbrute may switch out his Multi-Melta for an arsenal of options (all of which are decent choices), he may also switch out his Power Fist for another arsenal of options. We will go into this further below.
Let’s break all of this down into two categories: “Good” and “Just Okay”, so we can have a better idea of what about this unit shines and what doesn’t.
- Multi-Melta (Good): Alright, this is definitely nothing crazy, but the Helbrute’s stock weapon can be incredibly effective. Sure, it is a one shot weapon, but much like Lascannons, they can be really impressive if the dice go your way. It’s AP1 and has the Melta rule inside 12”, so cracking vehicles is no problem. Ultimately, transport vehicles are your “go-to” target with this bad boy, they usually have a lower armor value and if you crack it open, you can still assault the unit that piles out.
- Power Fist (Good): Str 10, AP 2… not much to say after that.
- Blood for the Blood God (Good): In the Khorne Daemonkin book, this special rule is fueled by the deaths of units on the table (friend/foe), which this unit has the capability of doing. Additionally, because it has this Special Rule, you’re able to give it more attacks, hatred/rage, etc… by spending these points. Suddently, this monster has four or five attacks on the charge instead of three.
- Crazed (Good/Just Okay): I have seen this rule be incredible and awful (in the same game), random tables are always a major pain in the ass, but sometimes, you get exactly what you need. Ultimately, the only poor roll on the table is the 1st result (it immobilizes the Helbrute for the turn) BUT you do get to fire your weapons twice, it just isn’t the greatest when you want him to keep moving.
- Options (Good): Alright, the options are all decent choices, so it will just depend on what you want him to do; what is the rest of your army not great at? If you don’t have many anti-armor options, keep the Multi-Melta, if you need more anti-infantry, then switch out the Multi-Melta for a TL Heavy Bolter and snag a Heavy Flamer on him. The great thing about how many options he has is that he can fill-out rolls in your army that you need. I think the point with him is to round out armies, not be the center piece.
What the Hell?! (Am I supposed to do with this model)
I have been thinking long and hard about the best way to play with a Helbrute and a few ways come to mind. You could either play him as an offensive shock troop (which I’m going to call the “Brawler”) or you could use him as a back-line defender (which I’m going to call the “Babysitter”). Both of these styles would be a good place to start when finding what play style(s) work best for you on the table top.
- The Babysitter: The premise behind this particular style is simple, keep the Helbrute in your deployment zone, and have him hover around your back line objectives while the rest of your army deals with more pressing matters. There are a few things you want to make sure of though: 1) that you have him equipped with a ranged weapon that has the range and power to reach across the table and help your advancing army. A Multi-Melta is just not going to cut it… I would choose to switch out the Melta with a TL Lascannon, the 48” range (and the fact it is TL) means that he can sit on an objective and pop vehicles from across the table. The second part of this style is based on him keeping his power fist (So don’t give him a pair of missile launchers), if your opponent has a drop assault element to his/her list, you will need the close combat power to properly defend your back table half. Surprisingly, you opponent is going to struggle with this tactic, the Helbrute is perceived as being a big piece of hot garbage, so your opponent will, instinctually, want to leave him alone… but… it’s really hard to leave a TL Lascannon that’s sitting on an objective alone… plus… every time you pop a transport with him, you earn yourself another Blood Tithe point.
- The Brawler: Alright, this one is a tricky one, but totally possible. The point with this tactic is to just run him at your opponent. (I know… “he’s a walker… he only moves 6”…ugh… moving 6” is so last edition…”) okay, settle down, yes… he isn’t riding a Jetbike, but your opponent is going to move towards you as well, the objectives aren’t all in his deployment zone, there will be objectives in the middle of the table, take the big guy and go stand on one. If you put pressure on your opponent with him, they either have to deal with him, or run from him (I don’t care who you are, being assaulted by a Helbrute is not necessarily a good thing) – the key is to be a big bully with him, go after targets that can’t properly fight him (troop units, bike units, vehicles, etc… – don’t let your trouser cherries get too big for their basket and charge a Wrathknight or something like that, the Helbrute will die and you will fulfill the Helbrute prophecy of it being incredibly underwhelming. Instead, when you charge a unit of Space Marines, or Vehicles, or almost anything else in the Eldar codex, it will actually do some work, especially if you’ve jacked it up on Blood for the Blood God abilities (I suggest Insatiable Bloodlust, gives the damn thing Furious Charge and Rage, it’s cheap on tithe points too).
Both of these tactics work and can be easily dropped into a Blood Host Detachment. The Helbrute doesn’t require a big formation to include in this Multi-Formation Detachment, its dataslate can simply be included as an Auxiliary Dataslate. Probably the cheapest of the dataslates that can be included, so that’s a big bonus.
There is always a downside to every unit, the issue with this guy is he has a tremendously big downside. Even though he may be cheap, once you start throwing upgrades on him, he starts to hover around the price of a Soul Grinder. If ever you have a choice between Helbrute and Soul Grinder… Always take the Soul Grinder. The problem is that he just doesn’t do enough… sure, he could blow up a vehicle here and there… slaughter a squad of dudes, etc… but he just doesn’t have enough power to really contend on the top tables. Hypothetically, if he could Deep Strike (instantly better), if he had the same number of attacks as the new Space Marine Dreadnoughts (instantly better), or if he were just cheaper (I’m thinking in the ballpark of an Ork Deff Dread (80pts or so). I would accept all of the above as viable revisions to get him on the table more often. As he stands now… just take a Soul Grinder…
Hell Bent on Being Awesome!
Alright, just because I’m determined… I want to leave you all with a challenge. Find a place in your list to put a Helbrute, find a way to make him useful! Give the two suggestions I’ve stated in this article a try and write in the comments below what you think. Are there better ways of doing it? How have you found him to be the most useful to any list!
Scuba Steve, Signing Out
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