Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, we are going to talk about a bug that has lots of style but not always that much dependability, the Dimachaeron. Of course, if you need to read up on what other tricks are available to other, lesser factions, you should definitely check out Frontline’s Tactics Corner.
- Grasping Talons and Thorax Spine-Maw – S7 AP-2 D1 melee weapon. Against INFANTRY units, any hit roll of 6+ is counted as S14 and Damage D6.
- Sickle Claws – S10 AP-2 Dmg D3. Any hit roll of a 6 counts as AP -4 and Dmg D6.
- Instinctive Behavior: Unless within 24 inches of a HIVE FLEET synapse creature, -1 to hit for shooting attacks against any target that is not the closest, and -2 to charge a unit unless it is the closest.
- Digestion Spine: If the Dima kills one or more enemy INFANTRY models with its Grasping Talons and Thorax Spine-Maw, it gains a 5+ invulnerable save for the rest of the game.
- Leaper-Killer: You ignore vertical distance moved whenever moving this model.
So, the Dimachaeron is one hell of a model. It looks like a Lictor that went super Saiyan, and well, it has a decently impressive statline. T6 and 14 Wounds isn’t bad, and neither is a 12 inch move with WS 2+ (when healthy). The Dimachaeron is our most accurate big bug who can theoretically do some major damage. What is really interesting is that the Dimachaeron’s strength is entirely dependent on its weapons, so they never degrade. You are either going S7 or S10, and the S7 can spike to S14, making sure you wound just about any Infantry on a 2+ and the dmg D6 is a bit overkill, but against characters or Ogryn, it can be exceptionally useful. The sickle Claws are meant to be armor killers, and a healthy (and lucky) Dimachaeron can do some big damage to a Knight as -4 AP is amazing at cracking through the standard 3+ armor save on most pieces of armor. This is really what makes the Dimachaeron so different from the rest of our big beasties is that it is both versatile and accurate. You can shred through elite infantry well enough with 6 attacks when healthy but also do some big damage against armor.
The ability to get a 5++ is nice as the only big bad bug that we have with a 5++ is the Maleceptor, who is, let’s be polite and say, not so good. With a movement value of 12 when healthy, it is easy to get the Dimachaeron into range to mulch things like Scouts or any other units that deploy further up, and thanks to its Leaper-Killer rule, it can actually just jump buildings and obstacles rather than go around, so while some infantry might think they are safe hiding behind a building, the Dimachaeron can jump over it and hit them from behind. Of course, there are plenty of combinations to help get the Dimachaeron where it wants to go. There is the standard Swarmlord rocket, and getting to move 24 inches on Turn 1 definitely ensures that the Dima is going to get to charge something, and well, getting it to charge chaff is not that bad as it will get a kill, get its 5++, and then be a major threat that your opponent has to fire down. If you get Catalyst on it as well, it can be a lot of beef to chew through that will take a lot of resources to kill, allowing the rest of your army some breathing room to make it up the field unscathed. You can also go for a long, long bomb with Opportunistic Advance, Onslaught, and then Swarmlord again for a lot of extra movement that could mean getting the Dimachaeron into the backlines. As a Monster, it can use the reroll wounds stratagem for even more reliability in combat, and well, that’s not something to overlook.
Hive Fleet matters here for different tactics. Kraken is, as usual, the stand-out choice for extra speed and the ability to fall back and charge a juicier target. If you can get a combination charge off where you can use a unit of Genestealers or Hormagaunts to lock a chaff line combat, the Dimachaeron can get in there to, power up, and then fall back next turn and line up a better charge. With Kraken, if you roll well on a Genestealer’s advance roll with Opportunistic Advance, you won’t even need the Swarmlord on them who can then do its magic to the Dima. Behemoth isn’t a bad choice either for the reroll charges, and Gorgon is good for a bit more reliability out of the Dima’s melee attacks as rerolling 1s help get the most mileage out of the S14 wallop if you get that 6 to hit. Kronos is not a bad choice either as the Dimachaeron is so fast that it can move up the board and spread out that aura for The Deepest Shadow. The Dima does have 14 wounds so Leviathan can help give it a bit more durability. Jormungandr is not bad either for a 2+ save until it advances or charges, and with a healthy move of 12, it doesn’t necessarily need to advance on Turn 1. Hydra is of course wasted on it.
So why don’t you see these wonderful models on the table? Well, first is the cost. At 200 points, it is quite expensive for a monster, and to put it another way, Old One Eye is the same price for way more bug. You are dedicating a lot of resources to this bug for it to work, and really, it is an inefficient use of those resources. To really do what it wants, it needs more than points: it needs valuable stratagems or tricks like Onslaught going off and/or Swarmlord. If you are running a monster mash list with lots of big bugs, it could work, but if you run Genestealers, chances are you want Swarmlord to Hive Commander the Stealers as they can actually tri-point something, which leaves the Dimachaeron hoping that Onslaught plus a good advance roll gets it to where it needs to go. Next, the Dimachaeron is not all that tough. 14 Wounds and T6 with a 3+ save seems good, but the Dimachaeron is a huge model, so it is hard to hide, and well, T6 and 14 wounds with a 3+ save is not as resilient as you want to think it is. Any anti-armor attention like the usual suspects of Eldar Flyers, Knights, etc, will still pick up the bug without much thought. Even volume of fire is going to stick wounds on it, and when it degrades, it loses attacks, and it needs as many attacks as it can possibly get.
While its signature trick, Leaper-Killer, is cool and can be useful, it is still a Monster without FLY, so it cannot assault up levels in a ruin, and again, it is a big, beastly model, so there are plenty of places for infantry to hide where it physically cannot go. To keep piling on, with 6 high quality attacks, the Dima is like a super lictor that excels at killing characters and super elite infantry, but it needs to kill some infantry to get its save up, and 6 attacks against an AM squad or an Ork blob is just not so good. Lastly, the Dimachaeron is just the definition of a swing model. When you roll a lot of 6s at the right time, it is beast mode, but if you don’t, it is rather mediocre. You are paying 200 points for the chance to do some big damage, but for 200 points, I would like some more guarantees rather than opportunities. That is really the thing, I am fine paying 200 points for a model that I know will generally do big damage, but I cannot say that about a Dimachaeron. If you go second, it perhaps won’t live long enough to do its thing, and as it is without any way to boost its charge rolls, it isn’t all that great with a Tyrannocyte.
60/100. A fail, but not necessarily miserably so. It can do some work, but it is very dice dependent, and it is very expensive for what it is. A Haruspex is cheaper, tougher, and can still do similar damage output, just a bit slower is all. Either way, it is a great model, even if it sits on a shelf more than on the table. Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll see you all next Sunday, and oh, hey, don’t forget about this little event TFG Radio puts on, just in case you’re around Pasadena in August. Also, don’t forget that LVO tickets went up yesterday, and boy howdy, they are going fast.
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